Canada Goose x Barnacle Goose Branta canadensis x Branta leucopsis

Cackling Goose (Lesser Canda Goose) x Barnacle Goose Branta hutchinsii x Branta leucopsis

Hybrids between Canada Goose and Barnacle Goose are relatively well-known and may occur among both genuine wild and feral geese - the first bird shown below was among feral birds.

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Canada Goose x Barnacle Goose (with Barnacle Geese), Hickling Rushill Scrape (Norfolk, UK), 10th August 2009

 

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Canada Goose x Barnacle Goose (with Barnacle Goose), Burnham Overy (Norfolk, UK), 5th June 2015

The next bird, accompanying a Barnacle Goose among thousands of Pink-footed Geese, is very likely a bird of wild origin. Vagrant Cackling Geese often occur among Barnacle Geese in Scotland and hybrids between the two sometimes appear. Finding one among the Pink-feet in Norfolk though was quite a surprise!

Separation of some forms of Canada Goose from some forms of Cackling Goose is fraught with difficulty (not least because it is not even agreed which species some races belong to). It is little wonder then that separation of Canada Goose hybrids from Cackling Goose hybrids is not always easy, or even possible. However the size of the following bird strongly suggests that one of the smaller forms was involved and the structure is consistent with the parent Cackling Goose being Richardson's (race hutchinsii). This is probably the most frequently occuring vagrant form of Canada/Cackling Goose in Europe.

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Cackling Goose x Barnacle Goose (with Barnacle Goose and Pink-footed Geese), between Amner and Shernborne (Norfolk, UK), 12th January 2011

 

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Cackling Goose x Barnacle Goose (with Barnacle Goose and Pink-footed Geese), between Amner and Shernborne (Norfolk, UK), 10th January 2011

 

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Cackling Goose x Barnacle Goose (with Barnacle Goose and Pink-footed Geese), between Amner and Shernborne (Norfolk, UK), 6th January 2011