Pink Footed Goose
There are two largely discrete populations of pink footed goose. The Greenland and Iceland population winter in Great Britain, while the Svalbard population winters in the Netherlands and Denmark, with small numbers also in Norway (where it is common on migration), northern Germany, and Belgium. Populations have risen spectacularly over the last 50 years, due largely to increased protection from shooting on the wintering grounds. The diet is almost entirely vegetarian. In summer, they feed on a wide range of tundra plants, both on land and in water. In winter, they graze primarily on oilseed rape, sugar beet, potato, and various grasses; damage to crops can be extensive, though their grazing can also benefit particularly sugar beet and potato farmers by gleaning leaves and roots left behind after the crop is harvested, reducing the transmission of crop diseases from one year to the next.
Appearance: – This goose has a grey-brown body, darker brown head and neck, short bright pink beak with a black tip and base, white rump and vent, grey tail with white tip, and pink legs and feet. Both sexes are alike. This goose has been considered to be a sub-species of the Bean Goose and looks similar but the Pink Footed Goose can be recognized by its stubby pink beak, pink legs, short neck, and small rounded head.
Size: – Typical Adult is 23-29 inches.
Food: – Aquatic plants, roots, leaves, tubers, sedges, grazing in fields on grasses, grain, potatoes, and shoots.
Habitat: – Tundra lakes, riverbanks, cliffs, salt marshes, wet meadows, and agricultural land. Breeds in the east coast of Greenland, Iceland, and Svalbard. The Greenland and Iceland geese winter in the UK while the Svalbard geese winter in the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Germany, and Belgian.
Breeding Season: – Early to mid-May in Iceland, later in Greenland.
Eggs: – 3 to 6 (smooth dull-white color).
Notes: – The Pink-footed Goose is a medium-sized goose of the Anser genus (Grey Goose). Very large wintering flocks can be seen grazing on farmland and large skeins of these geese make a deafening high-pitched honking call. The population is large and has risen over the last 50 years due to protection from hunting.