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White-Fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

Geese Family

Waterfowl Identification

White-Fronted Goose

Similar Waterfowl:
None
Description:
The white-fronted goose is named for the distinctive white band found at the base of bill. The sexes are similar in appearance, but males typically are larger. The head, neck, and upper back of white-fronted geese are grayish brown. The lower back and rump are dark brown, and the tail is dark brown and edged with white. The chest and breast are grayish with dark brown to black blotches and bars on the breast, giving it the nickname "specklebelly." The belly and upper and lower coverts are white. The bill is pinkish and the legs and feet are orange.
Typical Size:
The male and female average 29 inches in length and 5 1/2 pounds in weight. Their wingspan can reach 58 inches.
Habitat:
The white-fronted goose prefer a habitat on both tidal flats and upland areas, most frequently among tall grass and sedges bordering sloughs and marshes. Winter habitats include coastal marshes, wet meadows, and freshwater marshes.
Breeding:
White-fronted geese are circumpolar in their breeding distribution. The majority of white-fronted geese in North America breed near the Arctic Circle from Alaska to central Canada. They are solitary breeders and the female white-fronted geese will lay an average of 5 eggs.
Diet:
The white-fronted goose is primarily a grazer and feeds on marsh grasses, grain crops, tundra plants, aquatic plants, and fresh plant growth in fields. They also eat berries, aquatic insects, and their larvae.
Migration:
The white-fronted goose winter in California's Central Valley, coastal and mid-continent Mexico, and coastal Texas and Louisiana.
Flyway Patterns:
White-fronted geese migrate along the Pacific or Central flyway.
Flight Formation:
Large flocks in "V's" or irregular formation. Slow heavy labored wing beats. Flight is swift at 65 MPH.
Voice:
Both males and females have a series of WAH-WAH, WAH-WAH.