DU Mobile Apps
Home >  Hunting >  Waterfowl ID :  Lesser Snow Goose

Lesser Snow Goose

SIGN IN    SAVE TO MY DU    AAA
Latin: Anser caerulescens caerulescens
Average length: M 29", F 28"
Average weight: M 6.1 lbs., F 5.5 lbs.

Description: Lesser snow geese have two color phases: a dark (blue) plumage and a white (snow) plumage. The two color phases are variations within the same race and do not indicate separate races. The sexes are similar in appearance in both phases, but the female is often smaller. Lesser snow geese can hybridize with Ross' geese, which are similar in appearance. They have pinkish bills with black grinning patches, and the feet and legs are reddish-pink. In the dark phase they have white heads and upper necks, with bluish-gray bodies. In the white phase they are completely white except for black wing tips. The head can be stained rusty brown from minerals in the soil where they feed. They are very vocal and can often be heard from more than a mile away.


Breeding: Lesser snow geese breed along Queen Maud Gulf, Baffin Island, Banks Island and Victoria Island; in the Northwest Territories and on Hudson Bay. They nest on low, grassy tundra plains and broad, shallow rivers near the coast, and on islands within shallow inland lakes. Lesser snow geese nest in colonies and lay an average of 4-5 eggs.


Migrating and Wintering: Lesser snow geese historically migrated from their northern breeding grounds down the Pacific and Mississippi flyways, to winter in the Central Valley of California and the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana and Mexico. There, the abundant emergent vegetation of the brackish and salt marshes provided both food and cover. Recently, they have expanded their winter range to interior agricultural lands in states such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, where corn, rice and pasture grasses provide abundant food supplies.


Free DU Decal

Receive a free DU decal when you signup for our free monthly newsletter.