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Ross's Goose

Silhouette GeeseGeese
Ross's GooseAnser rossii
  • ORDER: Anseriformes
  • FAMILY: Anatidae

Basic Description

A diminutive version of the familiar Snow Goose, Ross’s Goose is also white with black wingtips but has a shorter neck and stubbier bill. These gregarious waterfowl can form huge flocks on their own, and smaller numbers also join enormous flocks of Snow Geese. Both these species have seen population explosions as climate change has warmed their arctic breeding grounds, reducing snow cover and increasing plant growth. The two species seem to be hybridizing more frequently as warming allows their breeding ranges to come into contact.

More ID Info
image of range map for Ross's Goose
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Ross’s Geese are reliably seen in winter in California, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. They move around during the day, seeking out the best fields or marshes for foraging, but they usually return to refuges or reservoirs in the evening to roost. Even far from regular wintering locations, a few Ross’s are often scattered among flocks of Snow Geese or other geese. Patient scanning of flocks with a spotting scope is the best method to find them; look for the Ross’s smaller size and shorter, more triangular, mostly pink bill.

Other Names

  • Ánsar de Ross (Spanish)
  • Oie de Ross (French)
  • Cool Facts