White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons   [Scopoli, 1769]

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Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae
BTO Codes: WG, WHFGO EURING No: 1590
Number in Britain: 16 thousand birds (Winter)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Winter Migrant
Subspecies: albifrons, flavirostris recorded in Britain (of 5 subsp. in the world)
Length: 72 cm Wingspan: 148 cm Weight: M/F: 2.5 kg    
Scientific name from: L.: anser=a goose and L.: albus=white + frons=brow
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Russia, n North America & w Greenland, WINTERS: s Europe & India & c Mexico
Habitat: Tundra lakes, wet meadows on migration flooded fields & estuaries
Diet: Plant material, incl. roots, tubers, shoots, leaves
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: 16 thousand individuals in 2004/05 - 2009/10
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Wolstonian (penultimate) glaciation, c. 150,000 yr ago]
    Conservation Status: GREEN
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: albifrons RED (Recent Decline), flavirostris RED (International Concern)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries
European Population Size:
    Summer: 1700 to 2 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(I), Bern(III), Bonn(I, II), AEWA, NERC (41)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Text from the Waterbird Review Series
Results from Greenland White-front Study

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 79 x 53 mm Egg Weight: 125.0 g (of which 10 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 0
Clutch Size: 5 - 6 eggs
Incubation: 27- 28 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 40 - 43days 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: 0.724 ± 0.072       
Juvenile Survival: 0.596 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 3 years Typical Lifespan: 6 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 18 years 9 months 22 days (set in 2004)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: K
Wing Length Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Greater White-fronted Goose
Gaelic: Gèadh-bhlàr Welsh: Gwydd Dalcen-wen
Danish: Blisgås Dutch: Kolgans
Finnish: Tundrahanhi French: Oie rieuse
German: Bläßgans Hungarian: Nagy lilik
Icelandic: Blesgæs Irish: Gé Bhánéadanach
Italian: Oca lombardella Norwegian: Tundragås
Polish: Ges bialoczelna Portuguese: Ganso-grande-de-testa-branca
Spanish: Ansar careto grande Swedish: Bläsgås

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Fox, A.D. & Stroud, D.A. 2002 BWP Update 4:65-88
   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