Barnacle Geese – Weir Lake, Monroe County, PA

Alex LamoreauxChase, Featured, Identification, photo study, RaritiesLeave a Comment

It’s not often that Barnacle Geese show up in Pennsylvania, in fact there have been less than 20 instances of this beautiful goose in the state, but they are on the increase throughout the northeast and every winter more and more are discovered among flocks of Canada Geese as more birders get out there looking. Typically a sighting here in PA is distant and of a single bird that often doesn’t stick around for very long, and can be hard to track down from day to day as goose flocks move from foraging areas to resting areas. This is not the case, however, with the current pair of Barnacles that have been frequenting Weir Lake in Monroe County. Bruce Johnson originally reported the geese on December 11th, and they have been seen there nearly daily since. Although I had tried on two other occasions to see these Barnacles, with no luck, the pair was especially confiding during my third visit on December 29th, even climbing up out of the water to forage on the grassy lawn near the parking lot. I was able to snap off some nice photos of my 316th PA state bird that show the differences in size and shape between male and female. The female is slightly smaller than the male with a smaller, more rounded head shape in most postures.

Male and female Barnacle Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Female and male Barnacle Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Male and female Barnacle Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Female and male Barnacle Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Female Barnacle Goose (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Male Barnacle Goose (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Male Barnacle Goose (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Female Barnacle Goose (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Male Barnacle Goose stretching it's wings (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Female Barnacle Goose stretching it’s wings (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)