Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Barnacle Goose

Maple Farm Sanctuary serves as a lifelong home to over 100 farm animals who were either abused, abandoned or unwanted.  You can read the farm's mission statement and learn more about their activities on their web site here.


While I visited today, I noted chickens, goats, llamas, some beautiful cows, and lots of Canada geese.  Among the Canada geese, one little Barnacle Goose was holding his own.  This Barnacle Goose was the reason for my visit!   Significantly smaller (27")  than a Canada goose (36" to 45"), while I watched, he stayed near the back edge of the flock where he was less likely to be snapped at.  The farmer told me that it leaves at night but has returned each day since last Saturday.

The geese are being fed corn, and the famers had hung a donation box on the fence to make it easy for the visiting birders to leave a donation.  I happily gave a donation to this beautiful farm and its worthwhile mission.  I hope the visiting Barnacle Goose provides them out with some otherwise unexpected income, and I really hope the birders' donations reflect their gratitude for being welcomed to view this rare bird on private land.  

According to my field guide, the Barnacle Goose is an annual winter visitor from Greenland and Europe and is commonly found within a flock of Canada Geese.  They do not breed in North America and some North American sightings may be due to escape from captivity.  I like its white face, dark eye and pretty gray back.




The Canada geese appeared to be hoping for some fresh corn.  They were noisy and unruly, snapping at each other as they jockeyed for a position close to the fence from whence the corn should come.  At least one seemed jealous that all my attention was on the Barnacle Goose.


Gotcha!

You really can't tell just how noisy it was from the photos, so I took a short video!

video

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