What bird is this?

by Nancy
(St Charles County, MO)

I saw this bird in my back yard one morning. I was above on the deck. It walked by me, looked up and then just kept walking along to the neighbors yard & was gone, about 200 feet away. It was about 3 feet high, had legs about 6 inches long, could not tell if they were webbed, body was @ 15" round, neck was longer than the body & slender, head was the size of a baseball & the beek was @ 3 inches long & pointed, the tail was about 8/9 inches square & somewhat like a prarie chicken, (this was no prarie chicken)and the color was brown & white on the inside top & all GOLD on the edges, about 2 inches worth. This was not some bird that is normal to this area, St Charles County, MO. I have not seen it again. I called the zoo & they offered to say it was probably just passing thru, spent the night in one of our many tress & was leaving when I saw it. I didn't get a picture cause I knew it would be gone before I found the camera, which was 2 flights up. So I stayed & tried to see everything I could & remember what it looked like. The neck & body feathers were a mix of white with brown & the pattern did not go around it's neck, it went up/down the neck. I have looked for hours on the internet without luck. I have called a few bird societies, without luck, looked thru bird books without luck. This is not a joke, I really did see this bird. We live about 2 miles from the Missouri River & 6 miles from the Mississippi. Any ideas? It looked like a very large goose but was brown, white & gold. The tail was the part I will never forget, with all the gold color.

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