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Snow Goose Chen caerulescens


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Snow Goose
credit: Walter Siegmund/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Anatidae, Ducks and Geese view all from this family

Description ADULT WHITE MORPH Has mainly white plumage, with black primaries. Bill and legs are pink. ADULT blue MORPH Has mainly dark gray-brown plumage, except for white head and neck, white vent, and pale wing coverts. Bill and legs are pink. JUVENILE blue MORPH Dark buffy brown, except for white vent. Bill and legs are dark. JUVENILE WHITE MORPH Has whitish plumage, except for buff-brown back and dark primaries. Bill and legs are dark.

Dimensions Length: 25-31" (64-79 cm)

Habitat Locally abundant. Nests on tundra and winters on farmland and wetlands.

Observation Tips Easiest to observe at regular wintering grounds, particularly Bosque del Apache, New Mexico.

Range Great Lakes, Alaska, Western Canada, Rocky Mountains, Mid-Atlantic, Texas, Southwest, Eastern Canada, New England, California, Florida, Northwest, Plains, Southeast

Voice utters a barking, honking whook.

Discussion Distinctive Arctic tundra goose. Confusingly, occurs in two distinct light and dark (blue) color morphs; blue morph was formerly considered a separate species, "Blue Goose." Both morphs are distinctive and confusion is only really possible with appreciably smaller Ross's Goose, or white, domesticated form of Graylag Goose. Sexes are similar. Feeds by grazing vegetation. Long-distance flights usually undertaken in V-formation.