The ancestor of most domestic geese, the greylag is the largest and bulkiest of the wild geese native to the UK and Europe. In many parts of the UK it has been re-established by releasing birds in suitable areas, but the resulting flocks (often mixed with Canada geese) found around gravel pits, lakes and reservoirs all year round in southern Britain tend to be semi-tame and uninspiring. The native birds and wintering flocks found in Scotland retain the special appeal of truly wild geese.
Greylag geese are listed in Schedule 2 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, meaning they can be killed or taken outside of the close season.
What they eat:
Grass, roots, cereal leaves and spilled grain.
- 147-180 cm
- UK breeding:
- 46,000 pairs
- UK wintering:
- 140,000 British-breeding birds and 88,000 from Iceland