For years, the Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) was considered one of several smaller Canada Goose subspecies. In 2004, The American Ornithological Union (AUO) reclassified them, and this species is now considered to be their own species entirely. Further confusing those of us that will forever lump Canadas and bigs, littles and middles, it’s been proposed that Canada and cackling geese be into 6 species and 200 subspecies! For now, there are 4 subspecies of cackling geese and generalized below. The Cackling Goose has a short neck comparable to body size and has similar features to the Canada Goose. All display the black head and neck with white cheek patches, the white “U” on the black rump, and overall gray-brown body. Differences lie with the body size, plumage shades, and vocalizations. Thee seems to be a coloration gradient that’s increasingly darker to the west, and, especially when lumping Canadas and cacklers as one species, increased size to the south. All cackling geese subspecies have a high-pitched call with short, bark-like or yelp-like notes.
Black Dog Outfitters' Alberta Canada Duck and goose hunting packages feature superior, all-inclusive waterfowl hunting experiences.
Big Kansas Outdoors delivers high-energy, action packed Kansas duck and goose hunting in Central Kansas. It's the kind of waterfowl hunting for which Kansas has become famous.
Birdtail Waterfowl has perfected the Manitoba Canada waterfowl hunting experience for ducks and geese. Highly organized, everything runs like clockwork.
Guided North Dakota Pheasant Hunting package offers options for pheasant hunting only, or a true pheasant hunting plus waterfowl hunting combo. Ringneck Resort represents a long-standing reputable outfitter program and highly experienced guide-staff..
Dirty Bird Outfitters delivers the best guided North Dakota waterfowl hunting experiences. North Dakota duck hunts, North Dakota goose hunts and North Dakota swan hunts are their specialties.
Salt Plain Outfitters' Oklahoma duck hunting is a commitment to superior client experiences as reflected by strategic habitat management practices and staff mentality of making clients satisfaction their top priority.
Northern Skies Outfitters - energetic staff is detailed oriented, proven experience delivering the classic prairie Canada waterfowl hunting adventures.
Classic, action-packed Saskatchewan Canada field hunting for geese and ducks in the Land of Living Skies!
Run-N-Gun Adventures accesses the greatest percentage of the entire world’s population of overwintering redheads on nearby Laguna Madre and surrounding areas for the Texas duck hunting experience of a lifetime. But LOTS more, too.
Texas duck hunting about an hour drive from Dallas - as good as it gets
Excellently guided North Texas duck hunts are located about an hour from Dallas. Perfect opportunity for a morning hunt before work or an easy weekend hunt with friends, family or business associates.
Along with the Canada Goose, the Cackling Goose breeds throughout Canada and parts of Alaska. Both species have been introduced around the world and may now be found in Greenland, Europe, Russia, and New Zealand. While most of the subspecies will breed around marshes and tundra wetlands, the Aleutian Canada Goose will breed on steep cliffs lined with rocky shorelines.
The Cackling Goose is highly gregarious, usually foraging in sizable flocks together. While preferring to browse on the ground, they will also take advantage of foraging in the water for any type of vegetation, tipping like dabbling ducks. Main staples of their strictly herbivorous diet include grasses, berries, and grains.
Cackling Goose Subspecies:
The Cackling Goose (B. h. minima) is is the the darkest and smallest form, comparably sized to mallards. Some have described the breast plumage as sometimes expressing a purple iridescence. A small white neck ring might be present. Bill length less than 32mm, fast wingbeat compared to other subspecies. Breeds coasts western Alaska, primarily wintering in the Pacific Northwest US, previously overwintering in California. Cacklers tend to fly in flocks numbering 4-plus dose birds, preferring relatively wide-open habitats. Interestingly, due to subsistence harvest, this subspecies numbered only 20,000 birds in the mid-1980s but has since made a huge comeback.
Adult Aleutian Geese (B. h. leucopareia) are characterized by broad white neck ring separating the black head and brown breast plumage. The white cheek patches are separated by black under the chin. Head appears blacker than other subspecies, and bill length 32-38mm. As their name implies, they breed in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, migrating along the Pacific coast, overwintering primarily in California. Considered an endangered species in the mid-1960s, Aleutians have since made a tremendous comeback with harvest strategies extending in early-March in Oregon and California.
The Taverner’s Goose (B. h. taverneri) is lighter than cackler and dusky geese and check patches are connected. Bill length 32-40mm. They breed throughout western Alaska, preferring tundra habitat (as compared to the Lesser Canada Goose that prefers woodlands within this breeding range). Taverner’s usually fly in family-sized groups bit will form large flocks and mix with other subspecies. Feeding in open-field habitats, it’s been reported that they’re harder to decoy than other cackling subspecies.
The Richardson’s Goose (B. h. hutchinsii) displays the lightest plumage within cackling subspecies and is the smallest of all eastern Canada Goose-like forms. Bill 31-39 mm. Breeds in Arctic Canada, overwintering Gulf Coastal Texas and northern Mexico.