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Early winter in western Maryland. Last updated: 1/16/2012

Above and below: A Barnacle Goose at Meadow Lake in Garrett Co., Maryland (12/2-3/2006). Found by Jim Stasz on 12/1/2006.

Below: At the time of this posting, most Barnacle Geese seen in the U.S. were still presumed to be escaped captive birds; however, the discussion of some being of wild origin was well underway. Although this example turns out to be a presumed escapee, we are now confident that many of the Barnacle Geese arriving on the East Coast are of wild origin. One way to tell if a bird is an escapee is to check if either of its rear toes have been clipped. Although it doesn't confirm this bird's status, it appears this bird is missing its right rear toe - a red flag for natural origin. See images of left and right feet below, respectively.

Below: The Barnacle Goose was seen with these two banded Canada Geese. Note the light olive neck bands (12/2/2006).

Below three: An American Tree Sparrow in Garrett Co., Maryland (12/3/2006).

Below: A Red-throated Loon on Broadford Lake in Garrett Co., Maryland (12/2/2006).

Below: A Cooper's Hawk soaring near Cumberland in Allegany Co., Maryland (12/3/2006).

Below: A Downy Woodpecker along the C&0 Canal in Allegany Co., Maryland (12/3/2006).

Below: A Richardson's Goose (with Canada Goose) at North Branch, Allegany Co., Maryland (12/3/2006). Note the overall grayish wash, stubby bill, and small size. This shot was actually taken through a chain link fence and into the light, so pardon the weird exposure.

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