Blue Snow GeeseMar. 14, 2010

At one time, blue snow geese (Chen caerulescens) were classified as an individual species. However, blue snow geese are now considered to be a dark color morph of snow geese - or a dark phase. (If we were discussing dogs or cats, I'd say that a blue snow goose was a different breed from a snow goose, but ornithologists don't go in for such niceties.)

Whatever one calls them, a blue snow goose is immediately distinctive.

Blue snow goose on ice

There's no mistaking the white head and blue suit.
Blue snow goose flying

Snow geese themselves don't seem to differentiate between an "ordinary" snow goose and a blue snow goose. Here's a pair flying side by side.
Snow goose and blue snow g00se flying side by side

On the whole, blue snow geese mix with the white ones (perhaps there's one blue snow goose per a hundred or so snow geese); but note the flock of blues flying together.
Flock of blue snow geese

As there are fewer blue snow geese, it is somewhat more difficult to take a good photo, but I'm particularly pleased with this fellow swimming.
Blue snow goose swimming

Photo note: I used a Pentax K200D, with the SMC 1000mm reflex lens, on 7 March 2010, at Middle Creek, Pennsylvania, for the first two and last two photos; the middle photo was taken in Feb. 2009 with the Pentax *1st D, with the SMC-A* 300mm lens.

My Pennsylvania bird list   |   Snow geese


Snow geese video: Brief swarm (1.6 megs)   |   Complex swarm (8 megs)

Snow geese photos: Near and far


Snow geese video: Flyby (3.8 megs)   |   Swarm (15 megs)

Snow geese photos: Incoming!   |   Swarm sequence   |   Bands

Look Out!   |   Contact