pencil sketches of head shapes for Ross's, Snow, and possible hybrids, so I thought I'd do a little comparison and double check the identity of this goose.
So, in Photoshop Elements, I took my goose image, flipped it, took out all the color, and re-sized it to be proportional to David's sketch., Then I moved my goose head around over the sketch comparing it to each drawing looking for a match. I hope Mr. Sibley won't mind that I am borrowing his copyrighted sketch without even asking permission, but I really wanted to show how one can use the awesome identification and comparison tools he comes up with.
Anyway, I was safe trusting in the i.d. skills of my fellow Utah birders in calling this a Ross's Goose. Yet, going through an individual exercise of study and comparison sure has taught me a lot more and I think I'm just a bit of a better birder now.
Finally, one last photo of the Ross's Goose with an outstretched wing. This is for those intrepid birders who might want to use the wing feathers to try and age and sex this bird. I don't know how to do this myself, but I figure the whitish secondaries contrasting with the dark primaries might hold a clue. I also think that the white feather shafts on those dark primary feathers look pretty cool.