© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Kari Pihlaviita. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Bean Goose

Anser fabalis

  • Name also: Taiga Bean Goose
  • Family: Waterfowl – Anatidae
  • Appearance: A typical grey goose with an orange and black beak.
  • Size: Length 68–88 cm (27–34 in), wingspan 140–174 cm (55–68 in), weight 3–3.6 kg (6.5–8 lb).
  • Nest: In depressions lined with dry grass or other dry materials, as well as grey down and paler down in the centre of the nest. Nests typically among vegetation, often under a tree or bush, or on a tussock in marshland.
  • Breeding: 4–8 eggs (average 5.7) laid in May, and incubated for 28 days. Young able to fly within about 40 days. Shy and retiring during the breeding season.
  • Distribution: Within Finland mainly breeds in northern regions, but now also occasionally nests in bogs in Central Finland. Finnish population estimated at 1,000–2,500 pairs.
  • Migration: Migrates in flocks (often in V-shaped skeins or long lines) from the end of August, though in greatest numbers in October, often coinciding with outbreaks of cold weather. Returns to Finland in (March–)April–May. Some birds may winter in Finland, but most migrate to wintering areas around the North Sea, or increasingly in recent years to Southern Sweden and Denmark.
  • Diet: During the breeding season feeds on many water and shore plants, such as sedges, horsetail and cotton-grass. On migration and in wintering areas also grazes on fields of stubble on remnants of grain and plants including clover.
  • Calls: Most commonly a nasal, echoing disyllabic or trisyllabic honk, good for identification purposes when heard separately, but only audible as indistinct cackling among flocks in flight, when resembles the calls of other geese.
  • Endangerment: Vulnerable, protected. Game bird in Finland. Globally Least concern.

The Bean Goose is a typical grey goose, most readily recognisable by its beak, which is longish, and mainly orange with a black tip. Its back is dark and its legs are a yellowish orange. Young birds look somewhat darker than adults, since the pale edges to their feathers are still only narrow. Young birds do not have the same long grooves running down their necks as adults, and their legs are a paler yellowish colour. The irises of Bean Geese are brown.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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