Greater White-Fronted Goose
About Greater White-Fronted Goose
This bird is known as the speckled belly due to the variable black barring on the underparts. This is a medium size grayish-brown goose.
The legs and feet are orange, bill is pink, sometimes more orange. The adult is brownish with a distinctive white band around the bill base, most obvious on the forehead. The underparts are brown with black barring from lower breast to upper belly. The belly vents are white. The flanks that border are white, above that are brown with paler feather tips. The young birds are similar to adults, but lack the white forehead and speckling on the underparts; bill has a dark nail. When they fly they show brown with a gray wash to the coverts and a narrow white rump band.
There are 5 subspecies of this goose recognized.
The call of this bird is a laughing 2 to 3 syllable ka-yaluk or kaj-lah-aluk, somewhat grating and high-pitched.
The population of these birds is generally increasing. Pacific populations declined strongly in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but are regaining in numbers. The Tule subspecies is estimated at 7,500.
These geese like to stop and feed in stubbled farmland pastures during their migration north.