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Cackling Goose

About Cackling Goose

The Cackling Goose looks almost identical to the Canada goose, however, it is smaller, about half the size of a Canada Goose. It is stubby-billed with short legs, stocky body, and a short neck. Its wings are as long as the Canada goose, with primaries extending noticeable past the tail. The bills and legs are black. The adult has a black neck and head with a contrasting white cheek patch that wraps around the throat; and there is usually a dark line along the midline of the throat, but it is hard to see while the goose is in the field. This bird will often have a white neck ring below the black “sock.” The body is brown, paler below, and is often darker on the rear flanks. The belly and vent are white.

The Cackling Goose breeds in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, and winters largely from Willamette Valley, Oregon, south to Central Valley of California. It wintered largely in California but its winter range has shifted north.

The call of the Cackling Goose is similar in structure to the Canada Goose calls, but high-pitched and cackling.

There is a general increase in various populations during the last decade; the Aleutian subspecies has been removed from the endangered species list.