Greater White Fronted Goose
The Greater White Fronted Goose is closely related to the smaller lesser white fronted goose. It is named for the patch of white feathers bordering the base of its bill. But even more distinctive are the salt-and-pepper markings on the breast of adult birds, which is why the goose is colloquially called the “specklebelly“ in North America.
Appearance: – This goose has a dark brown head and neck, the front of the face around the beak is white, a grey-brown plumage with pale fringes on the feathers, darker brown on the back and lighter brownish-buff on the under-sides which has broad black bars streaking across lower breast and belly, dull brown flanks, vent and upper tail are white, the beak is pink, and the legs and feet are bright orange. Both sexes are alike.
Size: – Typical Adult is 25-31 inches.
Food: – Mainly grasses, cereals, grain, wheat, and potatoes. Also occasionally molluscs and insects.
Habitat: – Wet grasslands, fields, salt marshes, and estuaries in Arctic Canada, Greenland, and Arctic Siberia. Winters further south in southern USA, Mexico, UK and northern Europe, also India, China, and Japan.
Breeding Season: – Begins late May to June.
Eggs: – 4 to 7 (creamy-white color).
Notes: – The White-fronted Goose or Greater White-fronted Goose belongs to the Anser genus (Grey Geese) and is divided into five sub-species. This goose is colloquially called “Specklebelly” due to the salt-and-pepper appearance of its under-side. The Greenland white-fronted goose, in all plumage’s, looks darker and more ‘oily-looking’ than the European white-fronted goose, both at rest and in flight.