|A gaggle of geese|
Today we'll examine part 2 of this blog series on Arizona birds, the Geese and Swans. We'll discuss the rare and common birds and also who's countable (and not). This is a fun group of birds because they are large and easy to see. To find them just head over to the many parks, farm fields, lakes and golf courses found around Arizona. And maybe, you'll discover something rare! So let's go on this goose chase and discover another group of birds found in Arizona.
The Canada Goose. Love them or hate them, they are quite common from the city of Phoenix on up to the northern part of the state. They are often found around golf courses and parks in the Phoenix area all year round. NOW. If you live in Tucson like I do, they are VERY rare and not common at all. Many Phoenix birders think it's funny when Tucson birders get excited about Canada Geese:)
|The Cackling Goose is to the very left. Tricky tricky.....|
The Snow Goose is much more common here during the winter. To differentiate them, look at the "grin" on the bill of the Snow Goose. The Snow Goose is also larger with a bigger bill. Note the size of the bill on the Ross's Goose below.
|A Ross's Goose emerges from the cold mists of sewage water.|
|The Greater White-fronted Goose|
|Seen in California not ABA countable|
|Brants are usually found wintering along the coast of Southern California and very rarely get blown into Arizona by a big storm|
Now for the swans. There are 3 swans that can be seen in Arizona. We have Tundra, Trumpeter and Mute Swans. But here's what you need to know about these three species......
|The Tundra Swan can be ID'd by the yellow lore on the bill|
|Trumpeter Swans at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson|
|the invasive yet loved by golfers, Mute Swan|
This is the complete list of "expected" geese and swans, but if you've lived in Arizona long enough, you know that crazy rarities have shown up. Who knows? Maybe an Emperor Goose will appear during a crazy weather event. With the right storm, anything is possible. I am bias, but if you are a birder, Arizona is THE place to live for all things avian. Granted, I think birding is epic anywhere you go, but there's nothing like settling down after a trip somewhere and saying, "It's good to be back home with my birds." Each Arizona day can shock and dazzle with a crazy surprise. My Arizona series will continue on one of my favorite groups of birds......the grouse! Stay tuned for more!
|Our resident Blue morph Snow Goose in Tucson. A year long resident and popular with the local birding community. He is loved.|