© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.
Greater White-fronted Goose
- Family: Waterfowl – Anatidae
- Appearance: A typical grey goose, with an almost uniformly pink beak.
- Size: Length 64–78 cm (25–31 in), wingspan 130–160 cm (51–62 in), weight 2–2.9 kg (4.4–6 lb).
- Nest: Low nests built among vegetation of any available plant material, lined with dark feathers. Sometimes nests in sparse colonies.
- Breeding: 3–7 eggs (most often 5–6) laid in late May or June, incubated for 22–28 days. Young able to fly within 40–43 days.
- Distribution: Breeds in the tundra of NE Russia and Siberia. Seen in Finland on migration, especially in autumn, sometimes in large flocks. Occasionally observed in winter. The birds that migrate over Finland spend the winter around the North Sea.
- Migration: Autumn migration Sept–Nov, returning in April–May.
- Diet: Various plants including plantains (Plantago) and arrowgrasses (Triglochin) as well as parts of plants grazed on moist meadows, in the same way as Greylag Geese. Also often seen feeding on stubble fields.
- Calls: Characteristic call a sharp “click-click-click-click”, heard occasionally between chattering calls.
The beaks of adults are almost uniformly pink, with a white band near their eyes. Young birds have grey beaks (with purplish streaks) with a grey band near their eyes. This band turns white during the birds’ first moult. Young birds do not have adults’ characteristic neck grooves or dark streaks across their bellies. Young Greater White-fronted Geese gain their adult plumage during the following summer’s moulting season. This species can be confused with the Lesser White-fronted Goose, though their beaks are different shapes, and the lesser white-fronts have yellow eye-rings.