Rare Goose Visits Fredericton
Since November 3 there has been speculation that a Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) has been in the Fredericton area. Several of us have been searching for it and it was finally located on November 11 at Carmen Creek Golf Course. We went immediately to see it after receiving the report. There it was feeding with about 100 Canada Geese. It has been staying with the geese in the Fredericton area ever since, sharing its time between the golf course, the agricultural station, and the river. Many people have come to see this rare goose.
The Pink-footed Goose is a very rare goose in North America. We have had one other confirmed report. A single Pink-footed Goose was present in Cormierville, NB in 2010. It stayed for a few days and some of us saw it there. This is probably not the same bird.
The Pink-footed Goose is a bit smaller than the Canada Goose. It is a beautiful bird with a brown head, light gray back with nice white edges to the feathers, pink on its bill and bubble-gum-pink legs and feet. It appeared very comfortable with the Canadas.
The Pink-footed Goose is very rare here because it is a goose of the Old World. It normally breeds in Greenland, Iceland, and Svalbard (north of Norway). It winters in the British Isles and northern Europe. It is pretty distinctive but could be confused with two similar species, juvenile White-fronted Goose and Bean Goose. The Bean Goose is larger and has never been here. The juvenile White-fronted Goose has a longer pink bill with a white base. Its legs are orange.