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North Holland Goose  a new species in the making

Not many people realise, but close to where I live there is a growing population of geese consisting mainly of Branta hybrids. They can be found year-round in North Holland, primarily near the cities of Hoorn and Purmerend, but I am sure their distribution range is much larger than that. I estimate that there are at least 400 breeding pairs in this area alone. In winter, it is not unusual to find flocks of 200 or more. They can be confused with Barnacle Branta leucopsis, Canada B canadensis or Cackling Geese B hutchinsii, however, keen birders will almost certainly notice that something is not right. I call these Branta hybrids North Holland Geese and I am positive that they are a new species in the making. Mark my words!

North Holland Goose (Branta hybrid)

North Holland Geese and a Greylag Goose Anser anser a familiar sight in the Netherlands nowadays.

North Holland Goose (Branta hybrid)

North Holland Goose (Branta hybrid)

Families of North Holland Geese near Hoorn on 12 July 2015.

North Holland Goose (Branta hybrid)

Noord-Holland Goose (Branta hybrid)

North Holland Geese and an Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca at Kwadijk on 11 January 2020 all stunning birds!



A great opportunity to practise your identification skills.


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Published 22 January 2020