Snow Geese at Reesor Pond, Markham near Toronto, Ontario

10 April 2010

This blue morph Lesser Snow Goose is almost one year old and still molting into first basic plumage. It is aged by the dark bill which will become pink and its worn brown juvenal feathers mixed with fresher basic feathers. White feathers are still molting in on the head. Reesor Pond in Markham on 10 April 2010. Lesser Snow Goose is the subspecies occurring in the Toronto area.


Front: blue morph Lesser Snow Goose same as above. Back: intermediate morph Snow Goose. Reesor Pond in Markham on 10 April 2010.


Adult intermediate morph Snow Goose. Intermediates have a gene for both white and blue morphs. Because the gene for blue is incompletely dominant, intermediate morphs look more like blue morphs, but note the white belly on the intermediate. Intermediate morphs were considered hybrids until 1973 when the AOU lumped the Blue Goose with the Snow Goose. See link below for more information on morph genetics. Reesor Pond on 10 April 2010.


Intermediate morph Snow Goose (left) is larger than the white morph Lesser Snow Goose. Ken Abraham said, "It may be an intermediate morph Greater Snow Goose or at the large end of Lesser Snow Goose variation". Reesor Pond on 10 April 2010.


Click link for more on the morphs & subspecies of the Snow Goose by Ron Pittaway.


I thank Ken Abraham, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ron Pittaway for information.