By Mel Grossman
If you drive by Mill Pond Apartments at the corner of Alex Bell and Wilmington Pike you may just catch a glimpse of a rare (for our area) hybrid goose enjoying life on the ponds with its fellow Canada geese.
You won’t have any trouble identifying this new arrival: Orange feet and legs and a pink bill make this ‘punk rocker’ pretty easy to spot. The thick body and short neck are definitely the result of some ‘barnyard’ shenanigans somewhere along the line.
Kevin J. McGowan of Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology, in Ithaca, N.Y. of Cornell, in an earlier treatise on the subject said “the parents were clearly domestic geese, but it kind of looks like Mom was fooling around with a Canada goose.
Its Canada Goose heritage is very apparent from the dark neck, facial pattern, and overall body pattern, but the white behind the bill and the long red bill itself point to a domestic goose parent.”
Actually he said, “this form appears to be rather common, at least in Upstate New York. It closely resembles the “Greater White-Fronted X Canada Goose hybrid, but is probably far more frequently encountered than the presumably rare hybrid.”
Here in Bellbrook, Ohio, on the ponds of Mill Pond at least, this would appear to be an “encounter of the first kind.”