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Hoover Nature Preserve
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Anseriformes > Anatidae

Snow Goose

Anser caerulescens

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Identification

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Medium-sized goose with two strikingly different color morphs. White morph generally more common. Adults have black wingtips, pink bill and legs, and often show yellowish staining on the head. Juveniles have dull brownish bill and legs and variable grayish smudging on body and wings. Dark morph adults are dark slaty-gray with a white face; juveniles are entirely dark. Typically found in flocks, sometimes numbering into the thousands, but individuals may be found with other geese species. Occurs in fields, marshes, and lakes during migration and winter; breeds on Arctic tundra. Compare with Ross’s Goose, which is like a cuter miniature version of Snow Goose. Pay attention to the bill: Snow Goose has a longer bill with a more curved border where it meets the face, and a more pronounced dark “grin patch” (but beware, Ross’s can show a small grin patch too!).

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Snow Goose

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