White-fronted Goose fancied for its taste

The White-fronted Goose is quite a common one in western Canada, all the prairies, and down the Pacific coast.
In the fall, it is a common migrant through Manitoba, and some flocks appear on the lakes and in the grainfields of Northern Ontario from time to time.
White-fronts are of medium size, and the general overall colour of the birds is brown. The adults have a very conspicuous white mark on the face at the base of the bill but the young birds have not yet developed this trade mark.
And mature birds have distinctive black bars on the breast, also not present in the young birds. If you should see them in the grain fields, note they have orange legs and feet.
There are many common names for white-fronts, among them wavy, gray brant, speckled brant, yellowleg goose, and laughing goose.
Like many of our geese, these birds breed well up into the Arctic–in Alaska and the Northwest Territories. Nests are nothing much more that a depression in the ground but, like all geese, these ones line the nest with down from the mother’s breast.
Only about six-eight eggs make up a clutch for this goose.
White-fronted Geese breed all around the North Pole. In Europe, they winter in Italy and Spain, and some in the northern part of Africa. In North America, it is California, Texas, Mexico, and Louisiana. In Asia, India and China.
In migration, White-fronts fly in an orderly “V,” much the same as Canadas. In full migration, they fly very high and very fast.
The voice of these birds is distinctive, a high-pitched laughing sound “wah-wah,” repeated over and over again. A flock of these birds overhead is a noisy affair indeed.
These are the birds which probably are the ones which saved Rome. When the Gauls were invading Rome, they sent a group to silently climb a hill to gain entrance to the city. Although the garrison was not very alert, the geese were–and their clamouring and cackling roused the guard.
For many years, the Romans carried a golden goose in processions. This event supposedly took place in 390 B.C.
In Europe, White-fronted Geese are often domesticated, and are considered in may countries to be “the” bird for Christmas dinner. This is good testimony to the fact that they are almost exclusively vegetarian–grain or grass is their staple fare.
These are not common geese in Northern Ontario but they do show up from time to time in grainfields, especially in the Rainy River and Kenora districts.
If you should shoot one of these birds, you ought to find the White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) very good eating.
Hunters all around the world recommend them.

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