Pink-footed Geese – Centre County, PA

Alex LamoreauxChase, Ranges and Distributions, RaritiesLeave a Comment

This past Friday morning, Matt Sabatine discovered not one, but two Pink-footed Geese mixed with a large flock of Canadas at Bald Eagle SP in Centre County, PA. This is the first record of Pink-footed Goose for central PA, the first time more than one has been found at once, and the western-most record for North America! The geese came right on the heels of Centre County’s first-ever Lesser Black-backed Gull which was found by Brian Schmoke on Sunday, March 16th. Coincidentally, both Pink-footed Goose and Lesser Black-backed Gull are European strays that are increasing throughout the Northeast.

I rushed over to see the geese as soon as I got the call from Matt Sabatine and Joel Wagner, and was happy to still find the geese leisurely standing along the shoreline, sometimes sleeping and occasionally going out onto the water and bathing. Both geese were in adult plumage, and one looked noticeably larger than the other leading us to suspect they were a male and female pair. They never came very close to us and we didn’t want to risk scaring them off, so I only managed the following photos…

Pink-footed Geese among Canada Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Pink-footed Geese among Canada Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Pink-footed Geese among Canada Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Pink-footed Geese among Canada Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Pink-footed Geese among Canada Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Pink-footed Geese among Canada Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)