Wednesday, January 04, 2006
The Ross's Goose is a diminiutive version of the Snow Goose - about a third smaller, with a dainty bill, proportionally shorter neck, and more rounded head. The little lost goose shown above, photographed January 2, 2005 during the St. David, AZ Christmas Bird Count, was dwarfed by the domestic Mallards it was slummming with. They're an abundant winter resident in parts of California, but being a refugee from the Ross's-poor Central Flyway I always get a thrill picking out the little guys in a flock of Snows. Just before sunset on the Elfrida Christmas Bird Count, I found a flock of 98 geese - 75 white Snows, one blue Snow, 21 Ross's, and a lonely-looking Greater White-fronted - chillin' with the Sandhill Cranes in a fallow field near Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area - not bad for a desert.