Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii

  • © Gerardo MarrĂ³n

The Cackling Goose is the diminutive and variable relative of the larger and more familiar Canada Goose which visits the Neotropics only in winter.  Breeding from Alaska east through Arctic Canada, Cackling Geese winter both in the middle of the North American continent and down the Pacific Coast; this winter range extends south along both coasts of Mexico; those birds along the Gulf of Mexico in Tamaulipas are primarily "Richardson's" Cackling Geese (B. h. hutchinsii), while those in Baja California Norte are usually the tiny and dark-breasted"Cackling" Cackling Geese (B. h. minima).  These squeaky-voiced geese often appear toy-like in comparison with larger and longer-billed Canadas, with which they sometimes flock; indeed, a direct comparison of a minima Cackling Goose with a Mallard might leave an observer wondering whether the duck or the goose is the larger bird.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

© Geoffrey A. Keller

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: