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Snow Goose

Scientific Name:

Anser caerulescens




Summers are spent in the tundra, while winters are spent in agricultural fields, marshes, wetlands, lakes and ponds


Throughout much of North America


Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Snow Geese commonly travel in large flocks, so where you see one, you will likely see (and hear the honks of) another hundred more. A typical snow goose is white with black wingtips, which are very noticable when the bird is in flight. The blue morph, once thought to be a separate species, is the same size as white snow geese, but has a dark blue body, with a white head; they are all the same species, just different colors. One distinguishing characteristic of snow geese is the “grinning patch,” which may look like black lip liner on their pink bill. An adult snow goose can weigh just over 7 pounds, measure 32 inches in height, and have a wingspan of 54 inches. Snow geese are vegetarians and will eat almost any available grass, rush, tuber, seed, stem or root.

Fast Facts:

  • Snow geese are excellent swimmers, strong flyers, and do very well on foot too. In less than a month after hatching, goslings can walk up to 50 miles with their parents in search of more plentiful feeding grounds.

  • Snow geese use their large group size to their advantage; while most of the flock is feeding, there are some members keeping a lookout for predators, and will sound the alarm so the flock can take flight together and escape.



Regina Hockett (research & content) 

Caroline Stillitano (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

March 27, 2024 at 1:48:22 AM

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