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Photographer's Note

The Canada Goose was one of the many species described by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae. It belongs to the Branta genus of geese, which contains species with largely black plumage, distinguishing them from the grey species of the Anser genus. The specific epithet canadensis is a New Latin word meaning "from Canada". According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first citation for the 'Canada Goose' dates back to 1772. The Canada Goose is often incorrectly referred to as the "Canadian Goose".

The Cackling Goose was originally considered to be the same species or a subspecies of the Canada Goose, but in July 2004 the American Ornithologists' Union's Committee on Classification and Nomenclature split the two into two species, making Cackling Goose into a full species with the scientific name Branta hutchinsii. The British Ornithologists' Union followed suit in June 2005.

The AOU has divided the many subspecies between the two species. The subspecies of the Canada Goose were listed as:

Atlantic Canada Goose, Branta canadensis canadensis
Interior Canada Goose, Branta canadensis interior
Giant Canada Goose, Branta canadensis maxima
Moffitt's Canada Goose, Branta canadensis moffitti
Vancouver Canada Goose, Branta canadensis fulva
Dusky Canada Goose, Branta canadensis occidentalis
part of "Lesser complex", Branta canadensis parvipes
The distinctions between the two geese have led to confusion and debate among ornithologists. This has been aggravated by the overlap between the small types of Canada Goose and larger types of Cackling Goose. The old "Lesser Canada Goose" was believed to be a partly hybrid population, with the birds named taverneri considered a mixture of minima, occidentalis and parvipes. In addition, it has been determined that the Barnacle Goose is a derivative of the Cackling Goose lineage, whereas the Hawaiian Goose is derived from the Canada Goose.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Iain Richardson (RhodieIke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 834 W: 1 N: 2683] (11740)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2014-04-10
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2014-04-25 4:55
Viewed: 411
Points: 26
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Additional Photos by Iain Richardson (RhodieIke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 834 W: 1 N: 2683] (11740)
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