snow goose (Chen caerulescens)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION

  • Length: 19 inches Wingspan: 58-59 inches

  • Sexes similar

  • Medium-sized long-necked goose

  • Different color morphs

  • Frequently gathers in huge flocks

  • Sometimes hybridizes with similar Ross's goose

White morph-adult:

  • Entirely white plumage

  • Black primaries

  • Pink legs and feet

  • Pink bill with black patch along mandibles

  • Sometimes has orangish stains on head

White morph-immature:

  • Mostly white plumage

  • Pale gray nape, back, and wing coverts

  • Black primaries

  • Dark legs and feet

  • Dark bill

Blue morph-adult:

  • White head and upper neck

  • Dark lower neck and body-some have white bellies

  • Pale gray wing upperwing coverts

  • Scapulars dark-centered with white edges

  • Mostly dark primaries and secondaries

  • Pink legs and feet

  • Pink bill with black patch along mandibles

Blue morph-immature:

  • Mostly dark gray-brown plumage

  • Dark legs and feet

  • Dark bill

Similar species:

The white morph of the snow goose is similar to widely-escaped domesti-
cated barnyard goose. Note that the snow goose has black primaries and
a distinctive bill pattern. Domesticated geese have white primaries and,
often, an entirely orange bill. White morph Ross's goose is extemely sim-
ilar to the white morph snow goose. The Ross's goose is smaller with a
stubbier bill without the black patch on the mandibles. It also appears
rounder-headed with a shorter neck. Immature white morph snow goose
is darker-backed than the immature white morph Ross's goose. The rare
blue morph of the Ross's goose can be separated from the similar blue
morph of the snow goose by the same structural characteristics already
mentioned. Hybrids between Ross's and snow geese have intermediate
characteristics. The immature blue morph is similar to the immature
white-fronted goose but has dark legs and bill.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status:N/A
Breeding Habitat:N/A
Nest Location:N/A
Nest Type:N/A
Clutch Size:4-7
Length of Incubation: 23-25 days
Days to Fledge:45-49
Number of Broods:1
Diet: Almost exclusively plant matter; lesser quantities of aquatic
invertebrates

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
Acc
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November

      Winter: December, January, February Acc

 

 

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