Leucistic Cackling Goose in PA

Alex LamoreauxBird Sightings, General News and Info, Photography, RaritiesLeave a Comment

On February 8th, Pennsylvania birder and photographer Dustin Welch found a very unusual Cackling Goose mixed in with typical Cackling Geese and Canada Geese near Beltzville State Park, in east-central PA. As you can see from Dustin’s photos below, this Cackling Goose is leucistic with very pale and sandy-colored plumage throughout its body, tail, and primary feathers. The head coloration seems to be fairly typical, although there is a small area of tawny-brown at the base of the back of the bird’s neck. Although leucistic Canada Geese are fairly regular, I have only seen a handful of photos of leucistic Cackling Geese and I am pretty sure no one has found one in Pennsylvania before this.

Leucistic Cackling Goose near Beltzville SP, PA (Photo by Dustin Welch)

Leucistic Cackling Goose near Beltzville SP, PA (Photo by Dustin Welch)

Leucistic Cackling Goose with typical Cackling behind it, and Canada Geese near Beltzville SP, PA (Photo by Dustin Welch)

Leucistic Cackling Goose with typical Cackling behind it, and Canada Geese near Beltzville SP, PA (Photo by Dustin Welch)

Leucistic Cackling Goose near Beltzville SP, PA (Photo by Dustin Welch)

Leucistic Cackling Goose near Beltzville SP, PA (Photo by Dustin Welch)