Barnacle Goose Sighting in Pelham Bay Park

A Mystery Revealed

     On November 26, 2010, a Barnacle Goose was found by birder Keith Michael at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. Keith’s sighting was posted online. I decided to visit the bird the next morning since I live nearby. At 7:00 AM, I found the bird standing on one foot alongside several Canada Geese. I noticed that when the bird put its foot down, it limped. It was standing in the parking lot at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. Orchard Beach is part of Pelham Bay Park. I photographed the bird in the early morning sun.

I noticed a metallic band around its injured leg as well as a larger plastic band around its healthy leg.

     That evening, there seemed to be much curiosity about the origins of this goose. I realized that my photographs might reveal the letters on the metallic band. After enlarging the photos, I was able read the inscription, “ British Museum #1291347.” Then, linking through the British Museum, I connected with EUring, the organization responsible for tracking the bird. I reported the bird and waited.

    The next day they informed me the bird was banded or ringed in November 13, 2002 by Steve Percival in Islay, Scotland. This was the first ringed Barnacle Goose to be discovered in the United States. You can read about it here:

Since then, the bird has been rediscovered, first in Stratford Connecticut and is now residing in Westport, Connecticut.

This is the Barnacle Goose. The bird was lame and was among several Canada Goose

After enlarging part of the photo, I was able to determine some of the numbers and the words,”Museum London SW7.”

Here we can find the numbers 129 and the word, “British.” Together we had the number #1291347. I had several other photos to confirm my enlargement.

Easily seen was the VUB tag.

Here you can see the relative size of the goose. Notice it is standing on one leg.

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