The Tule Goose is a large, dark subspecies of the Greater White-fronted Goose. Of all the Greater White fronted Goose subspecies the Tule Goose is the least numerous subspecies, with a breeding population estimated to be around 7,500 individuals. It's difficult to differentiate the Tule Goose from the other Greater White-fronted Geese, such as the Pacific White-fronted Geese. Tule Geese are difficult to separate from the other Greater White- fronted Geese, such as the Pacific White-fronted Geese with which they aggregate in winter. Their larger size and their darker coloration are best detected when they are adjacent to Pacific White-fronts. Tule Geese also have fewer bars on their underparts and shorter legs. Their dark chocolate color is most obvious on the top of the head and down their neck giving their heads a striped or 'duck-tail' appearance. Their bills are noticeably longer and, they also appear wider and taller. Some Tule Geese have a yellow eye ring, Tule Goose adults have a 25.2-31.9in/64-81cm long body and their wingspan reaches 53.1in/135cm while their weight ranges between 68.8-116.8oz/1951-3311g.
Tule Geese are primarily found on marshes. They breed along tundra wetlands and spend winters in agricultural fields, marshes, bays, and lakes. The Tule Goose breeds in the environs of Cook Inlet in Alaska. After the breeding season, Tule Geese migrate south and settle along the Gandil River south of the Bering Glacier on the Copper River Delta of Alaska. Starting from late August, Tule Geese are the first of the Greater White-fronted Geese that are seen in southern Oregon northeast of California.
Tule Geese feed mainly on grain from fields and they graze on grass and forage in shallow waters by tipping-up. Their diet consists mainly of seeds, grain, grasses, sedges, and berries.
Tule Goose meat is entirely dark, and has a taste like roast beef. The Goose has a great deal of fat deposited between the skin and meat, but the meat itself is very lean.
Tule Geese are often found in small flocks compare to Pacific White-fronts. Once they have reached their nesting sites and following successful mating, the female lays 3-6 eggs, which are creamy white or light pink in color. The eggs are laid in a down-lined grassy depression on tundra. Incubation period ranges from 22 to 28 days and is carried out by the female. The call of the Tule Goose is a high-pitched laugh or yelp that consist of two or three notes - 'kla-ha' or 'kla-hah-luk.'
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