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Cackling Goose - BirdForum Opus

Race leucopareia
Photo © by Mary Claypool
Lindo Lake, Lakeside, California, USA, 2 June 2007.
Branta hutchinsii


Photo © by John Bissell
Northern Iowa, October 2006

55–110 cm (21¾-43¼ in)

  • Black head and neck
  • White chinstrap
  • Pale tan to brown breast
  • Brown back
  • White rump
  • White undertail
  • Black tail, legs, iris and bill

Similar species

Canada Goose differs in a number of ways[3, 4]


North America.


Was until recently considered part of Canada Goose


There are 4 subspecies[1]:

  • B. h. leucopareia - Aleutian Cackling Goose
  • B. h. hutchinsii - Richardson's Cackling Goose
  • B. h. minima
    • West Alaska coast to Mackenzie delta
  • B. h. taverneri - Taverner's Cackling Goose
    • Central Alaska to Mackenzie delta

A fifth subspecies, B. h. asiatica from Bering Sea was last reported in 1914 and is presumed extinct.


Tundra near ponds and streams, coastal marshes.



The nest is a shallow depression lined with plant material and down. The clutch consists of 2-8 cream eggs.


The diet includes aquatic plants, insects, molluscs and crustaceans.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. All About Birds
  3. Distinguishing Cackling and Canada Gooseby David Sibley
  4. Detailed Guide to "White-cheeked Goose" Subspecies (with photos)by Harry Krueger
  5. Fox, A.D., D Sinnett, J. Baroch, D.A. Stroud, K. Kampp, C. Egevang & D. Boertmann (2012) The status of Canada Goose Branta canadensis subspecies in Greenland. Dansk Orn. Foren. Tidsskr. 106:87-92 PDF
  6. Mlodinow, S.G., P.F. Springer, B. Deuel, L.S. Semo, T. Leukering, T. Doug Schonewald, W. Tweit, and J.H. Barry. 2008. Distribution and identification of Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) subspecies. North Amer. Birds 62: 344-360.
  7. Mowbray, T. B., C. R. Ely, J. S. Sedinger, and R. E. Trost (2002). Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.cacgoo1.02

Recommended Citation

External Links

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