Taverner's Cackling Geese at Stewart Ponds at DVinfo.net

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Old September 4th, 2006, 05:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Eugene, Oregon
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Taverner's Cackling Geese at Stewart Ponds

We are fortunate here in Eugene to have about 10,000 of these sociable little geese wintering from October to May. They weigh only about 4 lbs. and you can see that some of them have white neck collars and many are lighter in shade than others. They were classified as subspecies of Canada Geese, until last year. At night, there are as many as 40,000 of the even smaller and darker main subspecies of Cackling Geese, that fly in from feeding grounds to the North of here, to roost on a nearby reservoir. We have 8 different subspecies of Cackling and Canada Geese that winter here and 3 of them stay here year-round. These two Cackling Goose subspecies nest in Alaska, in different regions of river basins and estuaries, that are on the West Coast, above the Kenai Peninsula.

These birds were at Stewart Ponds Reserve, which is in our city limits, in the heart of the industrial district. There are sometimes thousands of ducks, geese and shorebirds on the ponds and marshes. It's a good place to anticipate a sighting of a Eurasian Wigeon, a Common Teal, a Falcated Duck or any of a number of non-native waterfowl that come here as dislocated individuals. There are many Coyotes, Red and Grey Foxes and Blacktailed-Deer living here and two years ago, a large Cougar was flushed out of some high grass by a dog in daylight. I was about 80 feet from these geese when I took the picture, but they've let me slowly sidle up to within 25 feet of them. I was using a Sony 1.7X telextender and a shoulder-mount stabilizer. I always wear the same coat and hat and talk to them, so they recognize me and have learned to trust me. There were about 1,000 of them in this flock at the time. There are also about 80 of the Vancouver subspecies of Canada Goose that come here in the Winter and they are only rarely seen in Oregon. By showing some video footage, I was able to document the southern-most sighting of them in modern times. The audio of their unique, higher-pitched voices was also important in identifying them. If someone asks for it, I'll post a picture of them. Note to Meryem: The next time you come back to Eugene to visit, you've got to check out this place.

This 640 X 480 still photo was captured by my VX2100 on its MemoryStick. Its "progressive-effect" shutter and progressive scan in photo mode, allows for pictures that often look better than their small pixel-size usually permits.
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Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; September 4th, 2006 at 06:42 PM.
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