and controversial

The goose family is represented locally by two other species.

Current consensus though this is hardly a unanimous opinion divides the Canada goose and cackling goose, a smaller version. This is a recent development, occurring after the "splitters" gained pre eminence among taxonomists.

This is true of Canada geese, which have increased over time. This goose is a common nesting species across the plains; in the 1970s, nesting geese were almost unknown here.

Distinguishing cackling geese from Canada geese is a challenge, though plenty of people claim to be able to do it. Myself? I've left that to the experts who can spin out DNA samples and reach conclusions that elude me. Others regard this as a subspecies.

The fourth goose species that occurs here is the Ross' goose. This is a smaller version of the snow goose, with a noticeably shorter bill. Again, though, this is apparent only when the bird is seen at close range.

Snow geese have become so abundant that they are damaging their nesting habitat. Wildlife managers are trying to reduce their numbers, in part by adding a spring season on the birds.

This is an experience not everyone could have expected half a century ago. Geese are far more abundant now than they were in our grandparents' time, and probably more abundant than they have ever been.

Women Canada Goose Thompson Jacket Black Nz

The Canada goose itself is an object of controversy and even contempt in some quarters.

The white fronted goose is much less common, but still a regular migrant here. This species is named for a white patch just behind the bill, not for its belly, which is marked with dark stripes. This is noticeable when the bird is in flight; the white face can be seen only at close range, when birds are aground.

The contempt arises from the bird's fondness for close cropped grass, such as occurs in parks and on golf courses. Unfortunately for humans using these areas, geese answer nature's call wherever they're standing, and since they are big birds, they make quite a mess.

Giant Canada geese are similar to other Canada geese in every respect but they are markedly larger, and this is obvious at a glance, especially in a mixed flock.

Ross' geese are rare here, but occur frequently enough that they're worth watching for. Ross' usually occur in flocks of snow geese, and searching a flock of snow geese can Women Canada Goose Thompson Jacket Black Nz easily occupy an hour.

The scientific world is rife with controversy about Canada geese. This involves how to classify the birds. Are they one species? Several species? How many subspecies might there be?

wetlandsOUTDOORS CALENDARopinionHeadlinesPort: We need a "None of the above" option on our ballotsOUR OPINION: Kudos to UND for photo findingsVIEWPOINT: Tobacco tax hike proposals ignore economic realityLETTER: North Dakota protest response shows Cavalry mentality LETTER: Let medical marijuana work in North DakotaPretty hard to miss Canada geese last week. Anyone who went outside must have seen them. Or heard them.