Monday, September 21, 2009

waterfowl and other fauna

Saturday I decided to take another route to Stanley Park, one I hadn't taken in some time, and this is likely why I was able to see something new and unusual. You see the Great Blue Heron in the top photo with the gaggle of Canada Geese looking on but this is not unusual. There are plenty of herons to see about the park and area. What is unusual (for me at any rate) is in the next photo, a goose not at all like the geese around it. You can see this bird to the far left of the photo below.

Then I got a closer look and here it is. It took a bit to consult one of my bird books at home before I realized that it was a cross between a Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifons) and a Canada Goose (Branta canadensis, of which there are several subspecies). You can see traits of the former in its bill, head and neck plus its webbed feet (pinkish-orange). Details of the latter species of goose can be seen in the body and the plumage there. It appears to be an immature bird and will likely have its adult plumage by April of next year. Below are a few more photos of this bird. I've been interested in birds and their habitat since I was very young, so forgive my excitement!

Swans are another interesting bird. There are a number of them in Stanley Park (Lost Lagoon). They have a robust feature to them, strong neck and big webbed feet! The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor), native to Europe, is the one species to be found in the park. There there is the Douglas' Squirrel, native to this part of British Columbia. I have a special love for this little creature as well. So, if you happen to be in Stanley Park, take in the wonders of its flora and fauna when you do visit. You won't be disappointed! - V.

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