Greater White fronted Goose – Profile | Female | Range | Fly | Juvenile

Greater White fronted Goose

The Greater White-fronted Goose is a mottled brownish-gray general with a black tail, white rump, white band on the tip of the tail, and vivid orange legs.

Greater White fronted Goose profile

The stomach has a diverse pattern of enormous black splotches. Its name is derived from the white facial feathers across the base of the pinkish-yellow bill. The juvenile seems to be comparable however lacks the white facial feathering and black markings on the stomach.

In North America, this grey goose is discovered primarily west of the Mississippi River. Nesting on Arctic tundra, it winters in the open nation in gentle climates.

Wintering flocks go away night roosts before dawn to fly to feeding areas, and musical gabbling and honking might be heard from wavering traces of White-fronts passing overhead at daybreak.

Included on this species is a big, darkish type generally known as the “Tule Goose,” nesting in southern Alaska and wintering in central California marshes.

Greater White fronted Goose Overview

The higher white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) is a species of goose associated with the smaller lesser white-fronted goose (A. erythropus). It is known for the patch of white feathers bordering the bottom of its bill, in truth albifrons come from the Latin albus “white” and frons” forehead “.

In Europe it has been generally known as the “white-fronted goose”; in North America, it is called the higher white-fronted goose (or “greater whitefront”), and this name can be more and more adopted internationally.

Even more distinctive are the salt-and-pepper markings on the breast of adult birds, which is why the goose is colloquially known as the “specklebelly” in North America.

The Greater White-fronted Goose is a stocky brown goose that happens throughout the Northern Hemisphere and in North America is discovered primarily west of the Mississippi.

It sports activities white feathers around its pinkish-orange bill, orange legs, and a white line down its aspect. These geese breed in arctic tundra and winter in massive flocks in wetlands, lakes, and croplands.

They might be confused with Graylag Geese, an often-domesticated species that may happen in small numbers around farms and parks in North America.

Greater White fronted Goose Distribution

The North American midcontinent birds of the subspecies A. a. gambeli – which in 2010 had fall inhabitants of about 710,000 birds – breeds from the Alaska North Slope throughout the western and central Canadian Arctic.

The Pacific white-fronted goose of the American Pacific coast, which in 2010 numbered roughly 650,000 birds, and the tule geese, which are estimated to quantity 10,000 birds, nest in western Alaska.

The midcontinent geese collect in early fall on the prairies of western Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta, spending a number of weeks feeding before heading to wintering areas close to the Gulf of Mexico, into northern Mexico.

The Pacific birds migrate south down the Pacific coast, staging primarily within the Klamath Basin of southern Oregon and northern California and wintering, finally, in California’s Central Valley.

The tule goose is considerably uncommon and has been because the latter half of the 19th century, presumably it was affected by the destruction of its wintering habitat because of human settlement.

Greater White fronted Goose Description

Greater white-fronted geese are 64–81 cm (25–32 in) in size, have a 130–165 cm (51–65 in) wingspan and weigh 1.93–3.31 kg (four lb four ounces7 lb 5 oz).

They have vivid orange legs and mouse-colored higher wing-coverts. They are smaller than greylag geese. As nicely as being bigger than the lesser white-fronted goose, the higher white-fronted goose lacks the yellow eye-ring of that species, and the white facial blaze doesn’t prolong upwards as far as in lesser.

The male is typically bigger in size, each sex is comparable in look—greyish brown birds with light gray breasts dappled with darkish brown to black blotches and bars. Both men and women even have a pinkish bill and orange legs and feet.

Greater white-fronted geese make a variety of sounds, however notably probably the most recognizable is the high-pitched cackle that may be imitated by the sounds “he-he.” There is a definite breaking of the notice from the first cackle to the second.


Greater White-fronted Geese forage in teams in agricultural fields and on lakes, usually with different geese. They are often the first to flush when disturbed and fly in circles before coming back down. During migration, teams fly in “V” formation or in a single file.

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Marshes, prairies, fields, lakes, bays; tundra in summer. Generally in the open nations; most spend winter the place agricultural fields (for foraging) are near intensive shallow waters (for roosting).

Breeds on the tundra, each moist coastal area, and drier inland tundra. “Tule Goose” breeds in moist open sloughs and bogs in spruce forest area, winters primarily in marshes.


A medium-sized, heavy-bodied goose with a small bill, thick legs, and a brief neck.

Greater White fronted Goose Color

Adults are principally brown with white feathering across the base of a pinkish-orange bill. Black barring marks the stomach and the undertail is white.

In-flight a white “U” on the base of the tail is seen. At relaxation, a skinny white line stretches throughout their sides. Juveniles lack the stomach banding and white feathering across the bill. Both juveniles and adults have orangish legs.


Mostly plant materials. In winter, principally eats seeds and wastes grain in fields additionally grazes on new growth. In summer, eats stems and roots of grasses, sedges, horsetail, and different crops, add berries and buds.

Eats a couple of aquatic bugs and generally snails presumably swallowed unintentionally together with crops.

Feeding Behavior

Forages whereas strolling on land by grazing and selecting up gadgets from the ground. In water, submerge head and neck, or upends with tail up and head straight down.


3-6, generally 1-8. Dull white, turning into nest-stained. Incubation is by feminine solely, 22-27 days. Young: Can stroll and swim nicely shortly after hatching.

Both parents have a tendency younger, main them to feeding areas; younger feed themselves. Age at first flight 38-45 days. Young stay with parents for the first year of life and infrequently are loosely related to them for a number of years.


Can stroll and swim nicely shortly after hatching. Both parents have a tendency younger, main them to feeding areas; younger feed themselves. Age at first flight 38-45 days. Young stay with parents for the first year of life and infrequently are loosely related to them for a number of years.


Usually first breeds at age of three years. “Triumph display” essential in pair-bond: male briefly assaults another bird, then returns to feminine with neck outstretched and wings partly open, and each female and male call loudly.

The nest site is on the ground, often close to water, usually surrounded by grasses, sedges, low shrubs. Nest (constructed by feminine) is shallow despair lined with plant supplies, with down added close to the end of egg-laying.

Greater White fronted Goose Facts

The tule goose is a big, darkish subspecies of the Greater White-fronted Goose. This type breeds simply round Cook Inlet in Alaska and numbers solely about 7,500.

It winters within the Sacramento Valley of California, the place it meets the more widespread subspecies. The tule goose primarily makes use of marshes (usually filled with tule rushes) whereas the opposite type forages in open fields.

As is true of many geese, Greater White-fronted Goose pairs keep collectively for years and migrate collectively, together with their offspring. White-fronted Goose family bonds can last more than in most geese, and a few younger stick with their parents by way of the next breeding season. Parent and sibling associations might proceed all through their lives.

A smaller, however very comparable goose is present in northern Asia and Europe. It is called the Lesser White-fronted Goose which explains our goose is called the “Greater.”

Dwarf species appear to have appeared repeatedly in geese together with the diminutive Ross’s and Cackling Geese.

Before migrating north, feminine Greater White-fronted Geese achieve 30% more weight to fuel migration and egg manufacturing.

The oldest recorded Greater White-fronted Goose was no less than 25 years, 6 months old when it was present in Louisiana in 1998. It had been banded in Nunavut in 1975.

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Weather circumstances are a key issue within the annual breeding success of white-fronted geese. In the Arctic, the window of alternative for nesting, incubating eggs, and elevating a brood to flight state is open briefly, for about three months.

Arriving in late May or early June, white-fronted geese start departing for fall staging areas in early September. This signifies that delayed snowmelt or late spring storm can considerably scale back the birds’ reproductive success.

Greater White fronted Goose Migration

Midcontinental white-fronted geese in North America have many breeding areas and every group in every breeding space differs in its migration time and wintering location.

There are six breeding areas, together with inside Alaska, the North Slope of Alaska, western Northwest Territories, western Nunavut, central Nunavut, and eastern Nunavut.

These spatial variations result in totally different departure instances for white-fronted geese leaving their breeding areas.

Birds from inside Alaska start migrating earlier throughout autumn and fly farther south to winter. Due to their migration, white-fronted geese are generally wanted by waterfowl hunters, all throughout the nation.

Where to seek out

The greatest time to go in search of a Greater White-fronted Goose over a lot of the United States and Canada is throughout the migration.

From February by way of May and once more from September by way of November search for Greater White-fronted Geese foraging in agricultural fields or resting on lakes and ponds. The winter months in California, Texas, and Louisiana are additionally good.

They hand around in teams usually with Snow and Canada Geese, the place their brown plumage and medium-size ought to assist separate them.

They are a bit more skittish than different waterfowl; at wildlife refuges, it’s usually possible to get near them as long as you drive slowly and keep within the automotive.


Total inhabitants in North America fluctuates. Greater White-fronted Goose apparently declined in the 1970s, elevated once more in late 1980s and later. The status of “Tule Goose” poorly understood, could also be susceptible due to small numbers and restricted range.

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