White Fronted Geese

The White-Fronted Geese are named for the bright white patch found at the base of the bill. Both sexes are similar in appearance, but the males are a bit larger. The head, neck, and upper back of White-Fronted Geese is gray. The chest and breast are grayish with dark brown to black blotches and bars on the breast. The belly and upper and lower coverts are white. The bill is pink and the legs and feet are orange.

They can be found around the north pole in breeding distribution. The majority of white Fronted Geese in North America breed near the Arctic Circle and are found from Alaska right across the north to the eastern shores of Canada.

White-Fronted Geese, Vancouver Island, BC
White-Fronted Geese, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

They nest on both tidal flats and upland areas, most frequently among tall grass and sedge’s bordering sloughs and marshes. The female White-Fronted Geese will lay up to 5 eggs. They are solitary breeders. These geese migrate along the Pacific and Central flyways and winter in great numbers here. Winter habitats include coastal marshes, wet meadows, and freshwater marshes. They are common visitors to the coast and can be seen in most areas of the Island in the fall and winter.

There are two distinct populations of White Fronted Geese, the Pacific population and the central flyway population, the Pacific population has been increasing steadily for the last decade and that means more opportunities to view these fascinating birds.

They are grazers and feeds on marsh grasses, grain crops, tundra plants, aquatic plants, and fresh plant growth in fields. They also eat berries, aquatic insects, and larvae.

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