Outdoors

Rare dark snow goose spotted by West Side photographer

Snow geese congregate in the Skagit Wildlife Refuge off Fir Island Road on Feb. 15, 2011. One of these is a rare “dark morph
Snow geese congregate in the Skagit Wildlife Refuge off Fir Island Road on Feb. 15, 2011. One of these is a rare “dark morph" formerly known as a blue goose. (Scott Terrell / Skagit Valley News)

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Skagit Valley Herald photographer Scott Terrell saw something stand out among thousands of white snow geese grazing in a field of winter wheat as he drove along Fir Island Road in northwestern Washington Tuesday.  

It was his first sighting of a black snow goose, called a “dark morph,” formerly known as a blue goose.

And his first chance to make an image of one.

The Audubon Society website notes that the dark morph goose is extremely rare in Washington.

Veteran birder Tim Manns, president of the Skagit Audubon Society, was intriqued when told of the sighting.

“I’ve never seen one,” Manns told the Herald. “We do get a few blue geese through this area every once in a while, but they are much more common on the east coast. So it is somewhat of a rarity around here, although not completely unusual.”




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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