One of the side benefits of visiting family in Dallas is the proximity to Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Located just a few minutes away from my daughter’s house, I was able to spend an hour birding there on Sunday afternoon and got this photo of a Cackling Goose.
I recently read in the “Handbook of Oregon Birds” by Herlyn and Contreras --- “The Willamette Valley/lower Columbia River area has the most complex wintering aggregation of geese in North America.” This Cackling Goose serves as an excellent example of that statement. Until ten years ago, the Cackling Goose was considered the same species as the Canada Goose. Now, it is a separate species, and in fact this particular goose is a subspecies of that new species. The new full scientific name is, Branta hutchinsii minima.