Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus   [Baillon, 1834]

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Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae
BTO Codes: PG, PIFGO EURING No: 1580
Number in Britain: 360 thousand birds (Winter)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Winter Migrant
Subspecies: Monotypic
Length: 68 cm Wingspan: 152 cm Weight: M/F: 2.5 kg    
Scientific name from: L.: anser=a goose and Gr.: brakhus=short + rhunkhos=bill
World Distribution: BREEDS: e Greenland, Iceland, Spitsbergen, WINTERS: nw Europe
Habitat: Tundra lakes, rivers & wet meadows
Diet: Plant material, incl. roots, tubers, shoots, leaves, in winter now mostly on farmland
TitBit: No-one is quite sure why skeins of geese fly in their characteristic V-shape, though the benefits are probably aerodynamic, reducing the cost of flying, but their arrival signals the start of winter in much of Europe.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Winter: 360 thousand individuals in 2009/10
    Summer: 0 to . Pairs in
    First Record: 1839 [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Localised Non-breeding Population, Important Non-breeding Population
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 50 to 69 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(II),WBD(II*), Bonn(II), AEWA
Survey Results: Text from the Waterbird Review Series

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 78 x 52 mm Egg Weight: 120.0 g (of which 10 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 0
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs
Incubation: 26- 27 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 50 - 60days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Does not breed in Britain, or too few Nest Records
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.829 ± 0.009    (M:0.805 ± 0.070; F:0.835 ± 0.060)      
Juvenile Survival: 0.775 (to age 383 )  
Age at First Breeding: 3 years Typical Lifespan: 8 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 38 years 7 months 7 days (set in 1998)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: K
Wing Length Adult: 434.7 ± 28.7 Range 405 - 467 mm, N =59
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: 441.9 ± 13.3 423 - 465 mm, N =23
Female: 425.2 ± 18.9 387 - 457 mm, N =35
Weight Adult: 2.80 ± 0.32 Range 2.22 - 3.40 kg , N =58
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: 2.88 ± 0.36 2.22 - 3.40 kg , N =23
Female: 2.74 ± 0.28 2.35 - 3.15 kg , N =35
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Split from Anser fabalis
Gaelic: Gèadh-dearg-chasach Welsh: Gwydd droed-binc
Danish: Kortnæbbet gås Dutch: Kleine rietgans
Finnish: Lyhytnokkahanhi French: Oie à bec court
German: Kurzschnabelgans Hungarian: Rövidcsoru lúd
Icelandic: Heiðagæs Irish: Gé Ghobghearr
Italian: Oca zamperosee Norwegian: Kortnebbgås
Polish: Ges krótkodzioba Portuguese: Ganso-de-bico-curto
Spanish: Ansar piquicorto Swedish: Spetsbergsgås
Collective Noun:Skein

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Fox, A.D. et al. 1997 BWP Update 1:37-48
   Kear, J 2005 Ducks, geese and swans Oxford University Press [598.48 KEA]
   Cabot, D. 2009 Wildfowl Collins, London
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides