Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Western Massachusetts Pink-footed Goose

Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) sightings in the Northeast have been occurring with increasing frequency since the late 1990s.   A winter vagrant to eastern Canada and northeastern U.S., its nesting range is eastern Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard.  Normal winter range is Great Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark.  Increased vagrancy to North America has been attributed to the population having undergone a 10 fold increase over the past 50 years. 

Based on eBird postings, five Northeastern states report single bird sightings of Pink-footed Geese between last December through today: Maine, Dec. 12; Maryland, Feb. 4; New York, Mar. 19; Pennsylvania, Mar. 21; and Massachusetts, Mar. 30.

The Massachusetts bird was in the company of a large flock of Canada Geese feeding in agricultural fields along Knightly Road in Hadley (slightly grainy digiscoped image below).

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