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I went to a park called Manhassett Park located in Manhassett, New York on Long Island after the tri-state area had just been hit with a twenty-one inch blizzard. I initially went to this park with the hope of capturing some scenic shots of these old bridges stretching across streams. Went I got there I was amazed to find the streams frozen solid and many, mallards, geese and ducks flying around or just sitting on the ice or swimming in the shallow areas where ice could not form. I got my zoom lens on, set my camera to shudder speed and put my gloves on with the fingertips cut out since it was 15 degrees out. This was one of several great detailed either action or still photographs that I was able to get that day. This photograph was taken of a very large Canadian Goose sitting perfectly still on the ice with such great detail in feathers and various dark colors. After shooting this I just loved the detail in this Canadian Goose's stance and body. The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a wild goose with a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brownish-gray body. Native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, it is occasionally found in northern Europe, and has been introduced to other temperate regions. The black head and neck with a white "chinstrap" distinguish the Canada Goose from all other goose species, with the exception of the Barnacle Goose, but the latter has a black breast, and also grey, rather than brownish, body plumage. There are seven subspecies of this bird, of varying sizes and plumage details, but all are recognizable as Canada Geese. Some of the smaller races can be hard to distinguish from the Cackling Goose, which slightly overlap in mass. However, the Cackling Goose is usually considerably smaller, scarcely larger than a Mallard with a much shorter neck and smaller bill.
This species ranges from 75 to 110 cm (30 to 43 in) in length and has a 127�185 cm (50�73 in) wingspan. The male usually weighs 3.2�6.5 kg (7.1�14 lb), and can be very aggressive in defending territory. The female looks virtually identical but is slightly lighter at 2.5�5.5 kg (5.5�12 lb), generally 10% smaller in linear dimensions than its male counterpart, and has a different honk. Among standard measurements, the wing chord can range from 39 to 55 cm (15 to 22 in), the tarsus can range from 6.9 to 10.6 cm (2.7 to 4.2 in) and the bill can range from 4.1 to 6.8 cm (1.6 to 2.7 in). The largest subspecies is the B. c. maxima, or the "Giant Canada Goose", and the smallest (with the separation of the Cackling Goose group) is B. c. parvipes, or the "Lesser Canada Goose". An exceptionally large male of race B. c. maxima, which rarely exceed 8 kg (18 lb), weighed 10.9 kg (24 lb) and had a wingspan of 2.24 m (7.3 ft). This specimen is the largest wild goose ever recorded of any species. The life span in the wild of geese that survive to adulthood ranges 10�24 years.
May 12th, 2012
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