List of Duck Species & Ducks Types 2023 (With Pictures)

List of Goose Species & Types of Geese Worldwide 2023 [Updated]

List of Goose Species & Types of Geese Worldwide 2023 [Updated]

List of Goose Species & Types of Geese Worldwide (With Pictures! )

4) Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)

6) Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus)

Regardless of the species, most geese mate for life once they reach 2 to 4 years of age and will raise multiple young together each yearGeese, contained within the family Anatidae along with swans and ducks, comprise three genera: Branta, or black geese; Anser, or grey geese; and Chen, or white geese, which is sometimes grouped as a subgenus of AnserFrom that sentence alone you may have surmised that the classification of geese is somewhat complicated

However, the emergence of modern taxonomy and phylogenetic coding mean that many species, both plant and animal, have been and are being re-classifiedWhy All the Confusion With Geese?Several greylag geese in a flooded grasslandThis phylogenetic complexity and confusion is also due to the rapid evolution and hybridization of geese for millions of years, leading there to be some uncertainty as to whether there are hundreds of goose species, or a couple dozen with each having many quite similar subspecies that aren’t quite different enough to be classified as a separate speciesThe line drawn between when an organism is a totally distinct species, when it’s a subspecies, and when it’s just a moderately different individual of the same species, is somewhat subjective, and makes the matter more complexMost studies regarding waterfowl hybridization have been geared toward ducks, likely because they’re frankly easier to work with than their larger, more foul-tempered (pun absolutely intended) goose relatives

These include dispersing aquatic invertebrates and seeds via both consumption and attachment to their feathers, nutrient deposition via feces that fuel plants, and helping to control aquatic plant growth that in turn opens up waterways for other organisms to use, including fish and other waterfowlAs with any organism, these services can become a detriment when populations exceed natural numbers – many goose species have boomed beyond carrying capacity in response to human activities like widespread agriculture and an unhealthy reduction in the numbers of animals that prey on goose eggs and goslings, like foxes, eagles, and snakes

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Regardless of species, most geese become quite territorial and aggressive during the breeding season (particularly when they have goslings), but are more sociable in the winter when they travel in massive flocks with waterfowl of all types1) Brant/Brent Goose (Branta bernicla)Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren / CC BYThe brant goose, also sometimes called the brent goose, utilizes the coastal marshes of the Arctic tundra in Alaska and northern Canada during the breeding season

In winter, they can be found on coastlines and salt marshes along the US, Canada, Europe, and AsiaThe brant goose is one of the smallest geese, with the shortest tail (it almost looks as though they lack a tail entirely)

Its body measures less than 60 cm (2 feet) in length, with a weight ranging from 1 to 5 pounds and a wingspan on average of 4 feet

They are easily identified by their stubby tail, equally stubby black beak, and a neck with a white band below its black or dark brown head

They are usually found in large flocks and mate for lifeThese petite geese are most often found in marshlands and coastal estuaries, particularly in the winter, but may also be seen in ponds and, occasionally, agricultural fields

Their primary diet is composed of vegetation like sea lettuce, water lettuce, eelgrass, seaweed, and other2) Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)A female cackling goose with her gosling in Michigan, US – a rare site for this location

Caleb Putnam / CC BY-SA 20Native to North America, cackling geese spend their summer breeding season in the cooler climes of northern Canada and Alaska

In winter, they venture south throughout the US and northern Mexico, and may occasionally be spotted in Siberia and JapanAs you can likely tell, the cackling goose looks remarkably similar to the Canada goose

In fact, until 2004 these two geese were grouped as the same species (with cackling geese being a subspecies of the Canada goose) and was often referred to as the “cackling Canada goose” or the “Tundra Canada goose”However, newly emerged genetic studies enabled ornithologists to conclusively separate the two into different species, based on significant genetic divergence, the fact that cackling geese are most often smaller than Canada geese, and they occupy different ranges (cackling geese are often found further north and west)With a size ranging from 3 to nearly 7 pounds, cackling geese are usually small but can, depending on the subspecies (cackling geese have several identified subspecies), be as large as a Canada goose

Their wingspan is approximately 4 to 6 feet, and they possess a characteristic black head, muddy-looking torso coloration, and a distinct thick white chinstrap that extends up their cheeksAt first glance, they simply look like a miniature replica of a Canada goose

But if you look closely, cackling geese have shorter, stubbier beaks, a rounder and more compact head, and a short, thick neck even when fully extended

They’re much less common than Canada geese (and protected by law from hunting or culling due to their rarity), and as such are often easy to spot due to their small mallard-like size and stubby beak, even amongst a large flock of Canada geese3) Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)Each Canada goose pair can raise anywhere from 2 to 12 goslings per yearPerhaps the most widely known goose in North America, the Canada goose is, as you might expect, native throughout Canada and the US where they spend their summers

Around 300 years ago this species was introduced to the UK, and is now a common and easily recognizable bird there despite being invasive to Europe

In the winter, these large geese can be found throughout Asia, South America, Mexico, and even on islands like the Bahamas and Turks and CaicosTypically weighing anywhere from 7 to 14 pounds, Canada geese are among the largest of the goose species

Their wingspan ranges from 4 to 6 feet, making this another way to tell them apart from cackling geese – Canada geese have shorter wings proportional to their body than do cackling geese

Canada geese also have long, pointy beaks as opposed to being short and stubby, and longer, thinner necks that settle into an S shape when resting (most cackling geese have necks too short and thick to achieve much curvature)As with all goose species, Canada geese are primarily herbivores

They, like their closely related cackling goose counterparts, are found in large open waters as well as wetlands and agricultural feeds, and can be found feeding readily on aquatic vegetation like pondweed and bulrushes, berries, grasses, algae, and grain crops

Occasionally, they have been known to eat small crustaceans and aquatic insects4) Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)Photo by Ryanx7 in Stockton, California/ Photo shared via a creative commons licenseKnown commonly in Europe as simply the white-fronted goose, this species breeds in northern Europe and Asia, and spends its winters in southern and western Europe

A subspecies that is slightly larger, Anser albifrons frontalis, breeds throughout Europe but winters in the US (west of the Mississippi River) and JapanA ruddy grey-brown colored bird with a white or lighter underside, this goose is sometimes also called the “specklebelly” goose due to its underside sometimes being a mottled or barred white and black/brown color

A wingspan of up to 55 feet, a length averaging 2 feet, and a weight of 4 to 7 pounds make this a small to medium-sized goose

It’s an easily identifiable species due to its size, coloration, and an orange beak with a white base that extends toward its face called a “facial blaze”Greater white-fronted geese are most often found in open areas like marshes, flooded grasslands, prairies, lakes, and bays during the winter, where they feed primarily on grasses, tubers, aquatic insects, berries, and seeds

In the summer, they can be found in tundra habitats eating largely sedges and grasses5) Greylag Goose (Anser anser)Native primarily to the UK, the greylag goose migrates to the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Eurasia for winter

Many populations are feral (but not viewed as harmful), having escaped captive breeding programs as an effort to restore their numbers since they are considered a “vulnerable” species in portions of their range

The only known truly wild, non-introduced populations of greylag geese are found in Scotland and parts of northern IcelandAt an average weight of 73 pounds but sometimes reaching over 10 pounds with a wingspan up to 6 feet, greylag geese are relatively large

They are overall light to medium brown are grey, with darker coloration on their necks that makes the feathers look ruffled

A light grey to white underbody, large orange beak, and pink legs make these goose a straightforward one to identifyGreylag geese prefer to occupy open country with water bodies such as lakes, ponds, and wetlands

They feed readily on aquatic vegetation like pondweed and eelgrass, but will also eat berries, seeds, tubers, grasses, and crops like corn6) Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus)Photo by Ken Billington / CC BY-SAAs might be expected, the lesser white-fronted goose is quite similar in appearance and nature to the greater white-fronted goose

They breed in northern Asia, and winter in central and southern Europe and, on rare occasions, the UK

Their small size and attractive plumage make them popular as pets – as such, most lesser white-fronted geese that are found in Europe during the summer are usually escaped pets rather than members of a wild populationThe primary difference between A

albifrons (greater) is size – the lesser white-fronted goose is only about the size of a mallard

They average less than 4 pounds with a wingspan of around 4 feet and body length of about 2 feet

They possess the same dark coloration, orange feet, yellow eye ring, and white facial blaze as greater white-fronted geese, but the facial blaze of the lesser’s tends to extend further up on the foreheadThough not seen as often as their larger counterparts, as they are an endangered species due primarily to poaching and habitat loss and alteration, these small geese prefer shrub lands, grasslands, mountainous foothills, and wetlands more than open water

Here they feed readily on grasses, leaves, berries, tender stems and roots, and sometimes agricultural grains in the winter when other food is scarcer7) Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)Many goose species can look similar, but pink-footed geese are most easily identified by their legs & feet that often have a pink-red huePink-footed geese spend the nesting season in Greenland and Iceland, travelling to the UK and northwestern Europe during the winter

Occasionally, some pink-footed geese have seemingly gotten lost during migration, and have wound up in eastern Canada and portions of the east coast of the US

brachyrhynchus residents in North America, thoughQuite similar in appearance to the greylag goose and the bean goose, the pink-footed goose can be distinguished with a bit of careful observation

They also have quite short bills that are black with a pink band, whereas bean geese have an orange band and greylag geese have entirely orange bills

They of course also have characteristic pink legs, a trait shared by greylag geese and snow geese

They are a small to medium goose, weighing between 4 and 8 pounds with an average wingspan of 5 feetPink-footed geese are often found on tundra cliffs near lakes or ponds during the nesting season, where they are harder for predators like foxes to reach

In winter, they forage in grasslands, wetlands, and coastal estuaries, where they eat aquatic vegetation, grasses, and roots

8) Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)The unique red-breasted goose breeds in arctic Siberia, but migrates to southeastern Europe along the Black Sea and occasionally the UK for winter

These small geese are an endangered species, primarily due to habitat loss and poaching

There are efforts underway in Romania to help build a more positive relationship between farmers and geese in the hopes that red-breasted goose populations there can be recoveredOne of the most easily recognizable goose species, the red-breasted goose is quite a striking bird with many distinguishing markings

The neck, chest, and sides of the head are a red-brown color, bordered by vivid white bands

The back, face, top of the head, and abdomen are black, also bordered by white bands

They are the smallest of the brent geese at under 2 feet in length, 2 to 3 pounds, and a modest wingspan of about 35 feetDuring the breeding season, these geese are found in upland grasslands where they typically eat tender grass leaves and shoots

In their winter territories, they most often eat grasses like winter wheat, rye, and barley, but they may occasionally eat some aquatic vegetation as well as insects that they find in the grass and under rocks9) Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii)JMC Nature Photos / Photo shared via a creative commons licenseNative to North America, the Ross’s goose breeds in Canada and travels to the southern US (particularly central and southern California) and northern Mexico for winter

It was first formally discovered in Canada in 1861 by Bernard Ross, the bird’s namesake (it was actually discovered nearly 100 years prior to this, but no specimens were captured or sent for study)Quite a small and stocky goose, the Ross’s goose weighs less than 4 pounds, is about 2 feet long, and has a wingspan averaging 35 feet

Brilliantly white body plumage with black wingtips, a short neck, and a stubby, very triangular and straight orange-pink bill with a light green-grey patch at the base (called a “grinning patch”) round out this bird’s appearance

It can be confused with the snow goose, except Ross’s goose is on average 40% smaller than C

caerulescens and is less commonWhen nesting, Ross’s geese favor tundra islands where they are less likely to be bothered by predators

Whether in winter or summer, they can be found foraging in wetlands, grasslands, shallow lakes and estuaries, and crop fields

As with the other species on this list, they eat vegetation like grasses, sedges, tubers, and grains

They may occasionally also eat small insects and crustaceans that they find under rocks, in vegetation, and in shallow water10) Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren / CC BYThe snow goose, also sometimes known as the blue goose because they can possess a blue-grey color variant (but are still the same species), is native to North America and Europe

They breed in the summer in Canada, northern Alaska, and occasionally Greenland and Siberia

They spend winters in southern portions of the US and northern MexicoThey’re a medium-sized goose, usually between 55 and 6 pounds, with males sometimes exceeding this range

Their appearance is much the same as that of a Ross’s goose, but there are some key differences: snow geese are about 40% larger, on average, than Ross’s geese

Snow geese also possess black edges on their pink-orange beak, giving them a much more obvious “grinning patch,” and their beak is noticeably not as straight or stout as that of the Ross’s gooseIn the summer, they can be found in the Arctic tundra, usually within just a few miles of a lake or river

In their winter territories, they are often seen in wetlands, grasslands, ponds, lakes, bays, and crop fields

They may also feed on leftover crops in winter fields, and from time to time may eat insect larvae11) Bean Goose (Anser fabalis/serrirostris)Ron Knight / CC BYThe bean goose, whether the Taiga or Tundra variant, breed in northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, and Finland) and northern Asia (Siberia)

Bean geese are typically around 3 feet in size, give or take a few inches, and have a wingspan that can reach nearly 6 feet, though closer to 5 is more common

They can be mistaken for greylag geese or pink-footed geese, but there are a number of features that you can use to distinguish bean geese from the other two without too much difficulty – bean geese have a black bill with a distinct orange band running around it, and orange rather than pink feet

The plumage on their back is also rather dark brown, and almost never grey like pink-footed or greylag geeseThey are often found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and marshes, particularly during the summer breeding season

In winter, they are still found in these types of habitats foraging for aquatic vegetation, but also in grasslands and agricultural fields where they consume grasses, fruits like berries, and leftover waste crops

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