Moffitt's Canada goose
|Moffitt's Canada goose|
B. c. moffitti
|Branta canadensis moffitti|
The Moffitt's Canada goose (Branta canadensis moffitti), also known as the western Canada goose, is a common bird west of the Rocky Mountains. It is a subspecies of the Canada goose, as well as six other subspecies. It is sometimes mistaken for the giant Canada goose. If a goose has a neck collar, then it will be white and black. If the goose has a leg band, then it will be white or green.
The Moffitt's Canada goose is the second largest subspecies of Canada goose. It possesses a long neck and bill; similar to that of the giant Canada goose. It can also rarely have small, white patches found over its eyes, a trait more commonly found on giant geese. Their coloration is paler than that of other subspecies, sporting a pale gray-brown body and whiteish breast. They also have large, broad wings.
The Moffitt's Canada goose is often split into to two subpopulations known as the Pacific population (PP), and the Rocky Mountain Population (RMP). These two are not genetically indifferent, however, their behaviors are different. Palmer classified the giant Canada goose and the Moffitt's Canada goose as the same subspecies.
Moffitt's geese are known to inhabit areas as far south as northern California, as northward as British Columbia, and as Far East as Montana. Rarely, vagrants will be found in east Texas and the coastal plain. This bird was also introduced to the west of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington by private aviculturists and wildlife managers. These geese are typically found within all suitable habitats inside their range.
Pacific populations of Moffitt's geese are for the most part non-migratory, however, northward birds often migrate south for the winter. Rocky Mountain geese, on the other hand, make annual migrations in spring and fall. All Moffitt's Canada geese inhabit large, open, grassy fields.
Behavior and breeding
Moffitt's geese typically nest in abandoned hawk and heron nests.They breed in the Willamette Valley.
Hunting of the Moffitt's Canada goose is encouraged by many park managers and rye farmers. They are considered a nuisance and are readily hunted. These geese are overpopulated and will continue to be an urban problem into the future.