Branta hutchinsii


The newly recognized Cackling Goose was once considered to be a small race of the Canada Goose. The Cackling Goose is encompasses four of the smallest Canada Goose races, of which there are eleven, that are distinct enough to be named a separate species. The four Cackling Goose races are Taverner's, Richardson's, Aleutian, and Cackling. The smallest form of the Cackling Goose is only a quarter the size of the Canada Goose. The Cackling Goose is herbivorous; eating a variety of plant species and parts, especially grasses, sedges, grain, and berries.


Black head, neck, tail, and legs. Small, triangular, black bill. White chinstrap. Light tan to brown breast feathers. Brownish back. White rump and undertail. Shorter neck and smaller body than Canada Goose, otherwise looks similar. Sexes similar. 22 to 30 inches in length.


Coastal marshes, tundra ponds and streams, and steep turf slopes above rocky shores.


2-8 creamy-white eggs. The eggs have a ? day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The nest is a large open cup made of dry grasses, lichens, mosses, and lined with down. The nest is usually built on a slightly elevated site near water. The Richardson's form will nest in large colonies on cliffs and steep rock slopes.

Observed Locations:

  • Lake Miramar

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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.