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Whoever thought I'd be spending 45 minutes scoping through several hundred Canada geese in 20 degree windy weather  3 days before Xmas and with a house that needs cleaning.  Hope the powers that be dont decide to divide the robins into distinct species.  Or the goldfinches.

Anyway.  On Hiway 6, 5 miles west of Edina there were several hundred Canada geese this afternoon in the still- open water of a pond on south side of road.  Thought it might be interesting to check more closely  the various sizes.  I usually go small, medium, large and really large but decided this year with the designated New Bird to be counted to be more discerning.

With the help of the resident mallards (maybe 20 of those)  the smallest of the smalls were only a bit larger than the mallards.  Beak was very short, head rounded and breast on some darker and some lighter.  Maybe 8-10 of the small ones.

Now to the point:  If the Cackling migrate early Oct and Nov and are found only in the western part of MO and actually should only be on the west coast how could they maybe be here in NE MO in late Dec.  

If they were all Richardsons  should they still be counted  as Cackling.

What I do know--today there were 4 sizes of Canada geese.  I have seen them every year here in Knox county--usually at the country club site north of Edina for a short period of time in Dec.Today the numbers were much greater.

I wonder if this enormous group did not come from one refuge in the north.  And maybe be headed to Swan Lake.

Will count the smallest as Richardson's/Cackling.  Until those in charge of terminology change.

Amateur birding is hard enuf without learned ornithologists mixing the pot.

Anne Downing
Edina, Knox County
northeast MO

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