Guide to some birds of the Okhotsk region

EurasianJay StellarsSeeagle Redpoll BlakistonsFishowl LathamsSnipe JapaneseCrane Skylark LongtailedTit JuvenileSwan
Whooper Swan White-tailed Sea-Eagle Stellar's Sea-Eagle Hazel Grouse
Japanese Crane Far Eastern Curlew Latham's Snipe Ross's Gull
Blakiston's Fish-Owl Ural Owl Black Woodpecker Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Eurasian Skylark Long-tailed Tit Snow Bunting Common Redpoll
Tree Sparrow Eurasian Jay Northern Raven Buller's Shearwater*
Swan Goose* Ashy Minivet* To Checklist To Bird Guide Top

Swan Goose   Anser cygnoides   Sakatsura-gan

A Swan Goose was spotted on 30 March 2010 among a large group of Bean Geese (A. fabalis) feeding on an exposed field in Shari during their migration north. In the Okhotsk region, the Swan Goose is a rare passage bird or vagrant and is mostly seen mixed with groups of Bean Geese.

Though this is not the first time for a Swan Goose to be seen in this region, it is the first time a photographic record of it has been made, confirming its position as a bird of the Okhotsk region and allowing us to add it to our Checklist.

Care is advised not to confuse it with the domestic Chinese Goose that derives from the Swan Goose and is also bred in our region. The bill of the Chinese Goose is shorter and thicker, and there is a knob at the bill's base. One must also keep in mind that hybrids, having unusual plumage patterns, exist among geese as well.



Swan Goose on the right; Bean Goose on the left. Profile from the top of the head along the bill is reminiscent of the Whooper Swan of which there are many in Hokkaido during winter. (Misaki area of Shari, 30 March 2010; Photo: Kawasaki-san)



Right: Same individual as above. Dark brown line from forehead down back of neck is a characteristic of the Swan Goose. (Misaki area of Shari, 30 March 2010; Photo: Kawasaki-san)