RSPB
Skip navigation
Join the RSPB

Help us give nature a home from £3 a month.

Conservation status: Green

The white-fronted goose is a grey goose, bigger than a mallard and smaller than a mute swan. Adults have a large white patch at the front of the head around the beak and bold black bars on the belly. The legs are orange and Siberian birds have pink bills, while Greenland birds have orange bills. This species does not breed in the UK. Two races visit the UK in winter - birds that breed in Greenland and birds that breed in Siberia. The current wintering areas need protection, including avoiding drainage of traditional wintering areas in southern England.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Anser albifrons

Family

Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them

South England especially the Severn estuary in Gloucester and the Swale estuary in Kent for Siberian birds; Ireland and West Scotland for Greenland birds.

When to see them

October to March

What they eat

Grass, clover, grain, winter wheat and potatoes

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--2,400 birds from the European population and 13,000 from Greenland-

Distribution

Key

Audio

Find out more