Pink-footed in Providence!
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Toward the end of February, a rare Pink-footed Goose made a brief pit-stop at a very tiny patch of open water along the Woonasquatucket River in Providence, Rhode Island. It was a much-wanted lifer for Lauren and a great excuse to visit our friends in Providence, so we made the 1.5 hour chase down from New Hampshire on February 20th. As soon as we arrived at the small city park, we could see the adult Pink-footed Goose standing with 25 Canada Geese around the edge of an ice shelf. Mallards and American Black Ducks floated around the tiny area of open water, and the Pink-foot was casually preening away completely ignoring us gawking birders only 50 or so feet away! Pink-footed Geese are rare vagrants from Europe and they are slightly smaller than Canada Geese and have pretty unmistakeable plumage – a rich chocolate-brown head transitioning beautifully to tan then slate-gray then a stark white rear end. The bright, bubblegum pink legs and pink-and-black patterning on the bill is absolutely incredible. Like many geese, Pink-footeds also have deep furrows in the neck creating a really stunning textural pattern. It was great to see this rarity, and the photo opportunities were out of this world!