Lesser White Fronted Goose
The Lesser White Fronted Goose winters further south in Europe and is a rare winter vagrant to Great Britain. Individual birds formerly appeared regularly at WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, England, where they inspired Sir Peter Scott to set up The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust modern records, however, are far less frequent, a consequence of the species’ decline on its European breeding grounds. An attractive species, it is also widely kept in wildfowl collections and, as a result, escapes do occur; individuals seen in summer, or in the company of other feral geese, are likely to be of captive origin.
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 undersides 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. This goose is very similar to the Greater White-fronted Goose but is much smaller, has a smaller beak, yellow eye-ring, and more white on the head above the beak.
Size: – Typical Adult is 21-26 inches.
Food: – Mainly grasses, shoots, sedges, cereals, grain, and wheat.
Habitat: – Wetlands, wet grasslands, fields, lakes, and open tundra in northernmost Asia, and Europe. Winters further south in Europe, Asia Minor, eastern Mediterranean, Caspian Sea, north India, China, and Japan.
Breeding Season: – Begins late May to early June.
Eggs: – 4 to 5 (glossy creamy-white color).
Notes: – This goose belongs to the Anser genus (Grey Geese) and is considered ‘Vulnerable’ as numbers are declining due to hunting, and habitat loss.