Pink-Footed Goose

Pink-Footed Goose

Key facts

Scientific name: Anser brachyrhynchus
Status: A winter visitor

Wintering birds: 360,000

Conservation status: Amber
Length: 60 – 76 cm
Wingspan: 135 – 160 cm
Weight: 2.2 – 2.7 kg

What do pink-footed geese look like?

Adult pink-footed geese have a pale grey-brown body with a white belly, vent, and rump. The tail is grey with a broad white terminal band. The flight feathers are dark grey and the wing coverts are pale slate-grey. Their flanks are dark brown with darker brown and black vertical streaks and a white line on the upper flanks.

The head and upper neck is dark brown and the bill is pink with a black tip and base. They have dark brown eyes and pink legs and webbed feet.

Both sexes have similar plumage but the male is larger than the female.

Juvenile pink-footed geese resemble the adult but they are browner and smaller with a scaly pattern on the upperparts. The bill and legs are duller and sometimes yellow in colour.

How do pink-footed geese breed?

Pink-footed geese breed in May and June in small loose colonies of about 10 pairs. They nest on cliffs and lake islets and the nest is a scrape in the ground lined with soft plant matter and down.

Pink-footed geese lay 3-6 pale green or yellow eggs which are incubated by the female alone for 25-28 days. The male will guard at some distance.

Chicks are precocial and covered in brown and yellow down and are reared by both parents. They fledge at about 50-60 days after hatching and are sexually mature at 3 years.

What do pink-footed geese eat?

Pink footed geese feed on plant matter such as leaves, stems, berries, seeds, moss, sedges, and lichen. During winter they will also eat grain, vegetables, grasses, cereals, and potatoes.

Pink-Footed Goose

Where can I see pink-footed geese ?

Pink footed geese arrive for the winter in September and leave in April. They can be found in estuaries, on the east Scottish coast and the north and east of England. They can also be spotted on farmland where they go to feed during the day.

What do pink-footed geese sound like?

Calum Mckellar/xeno-canto

Did you know?

Pink-footed geese have a large carbon footprint due to them digging the soil in the Arctic in search of food which releases carbon from the ground.

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