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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)




Snow Goose | Chen caerulescens photo
Snow Goose, Entrance Pull-Off Pond, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Near San Antonio, New Mexico

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Snow Goose | Chen caerulescens photo
Snow Goose

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Snow Goose | Chen caerulescens photo
Snow Goose

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

SNOW GOOSE FACTS

Description
The Snow Goose has two color phases. The white or "snow" phase is white with black wing tips, red legs and feet, pink bill, and black patch around the base of the bill like a smile. The "blue" phase has blue gray body with black wing tips, white neck and head, with similar feet and bill color as the snow phase. Males and females are similar but males are larger. Immatures in snow phase are dirty white with black wing tips. Immature blue phase birds are gray with little or no white. The two phases interbreed and are found together through their range.

Size
average length 70cm, average wingspan 44 cm. Weight 2kg - 3kg

Environment
coastal lagoons, marshes, tidal flats, estuaries, prairies. Breeds on grassy or rocky tundra near the water.

Food
roots, leaves, grasses, sedges, agricultural crops such as oats, corn, wheat.

Breeding
nests in large colonies that can number tens of thousands. The nest is a shallow depressions in the ground lined with vegetation and down from the mother. The female lays a clutch of 3 to 5 eggs which hatch after incubation of 23 to 25 days. The young fledge after 45 to 49 days.

Range
Breeds in arctic from northern Baffin Island, west to Bathurst Island, north to Ellesmere Island, and east to Greenland. They winter along the gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas. Colonies have been seen in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, southern New Mexico and eastern Mexico.

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Anseriformes
Family:Anatidae
Genus:Chen
Species:caerulescens
Common Name:Snow Goose


Relatives in same Genus
  Ross's Goose (C. rossii)