Cackling Goose

Branta hutchinsii

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

CAGO

Code 6

BRAHUT

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Cackling Goose is native to the United States, Mexico and Canada. It is believed to be regionally extinct in Japan, but has been seen in the Marshall Islands. The range of this bird is quite expansive. It tends to winter in the southern portions of North America and breed in the Canadian tundra. The population of this bird could be as much as 1 million individual birds. Hunting has posed a threat to this bird species, but the population and range have increased in the last few years, leading to a rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Cackling Goose: This small to medium-sized goose has a mottled gray-brown body, black legs, tail, neck, head and face, with a white chin strap stretching from ear to ear and a white rump band. The bill is small and triangular. It eats a variety of plant species and parts, especially grasses, sedges, grain and berries. Strong deep wing beats. Sexes are similar; the male is larger.


Range and Habitat

Cackling Goose: Native to North America. Breeds in coastal areas of northern Canada and western Alaska to Baffin Island in a variety of tundra habitats. Winters from British Columbia south to California, northern Mexico. Also winters in large parts of the Midwest and Great Plains from eastern Colorado and New Mexico east to Illinois.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"honk, honk, honk"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Down to less than 500 birds in the 1970s, the Aleutian Cackling goose is a success story in waterfowl management. Presently, population estimates based on observations of neck-banded Aleutian Cackling geese during winter 2006-07 was 118,700, 13% greater than the previous year.
  • Due to their smaller size, Cackling Geese (especially B.h. minima) display a faster wing beat than Canada Geese and their wings appear longer proportionally to their body size in flight.
  • The smallest form of the Cackling Goose is only a quarter the size of the "Giant Canada Goose" subspecies.
  • A group of geese has many collective nouns, including a "blizzard", "chevron", "knot", "plump", and "string" of geese.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Cackling Goose

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Jane Wright

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X