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What Are the Different Types of Geese?

Updated April 17, 2017

Geese can be found all over the world, from Egypt to Canada. Most true geese people attribute to the genera Anser, Chen or Branta. Within these genera, a number of different goose species exist. The website Avian Web lists 52 different goose breeds worldwide. Some commonalities across goose species include winter migration and monogamous mating habits.

Canada Goose

Of all the North American geese, the Canada goose, Branta canadensis, is one of the more common and recognisable species. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" website states that the Canada goose can be found all over North America with few exceptions. Year round, they live within the northern half of the United States, with the geese moving south for winter, or north into Canada for summer breeding. Canada geese have black necks and heads, with brown backs, tan breasts and white cheeks and chinstraps. They can be found in and around any kind of water source. Canada geese are known for their loud, frequent honking sounds. Their wingspan can reach about 5.5 feet and they can weigh up to 9.07 Kilogram.

Snow Goose

Anser caerulescens, or snow goose, lives within a wide range of North America. The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web states they can be found around the St. Lawrence River, but migrate to New England states in spring. These birds are nearly as common a site as Canada geese. Snow geese are smaller than Canada geese, weighing in at about 3.63 Kilogram, with a wingspan of 1.5 feet. Snow geese have two phases--snow and blue. Adults in the snow phase have white bodies with black tips, red legs and feet, a pink bill and black around the bill. Blue phase adults differ in that their bodies are blue-grey with a white head and neck.

Ross's Goose

Ross's goose, or Chen rossii, is one of the smaller North American geese. This bird lives within northern regions of Canada during the summer, migrating south toward parts of Texas, California, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Mexico in the winter. These geese are all-white with the exception of select black areas on the bill base and tail. Their bill is pink. In mature form, Ross's geese weigh about 2.04 Kilogram and have a wingspan of nearly 4 feet.

Greater White-Fronted Goose

The greater white-fronted goose, scientifically known as Anser albifrons, lives within some of the northernmost areas of Canada, Greenland and Alaska during the summer for breeding. In winter, these birds migrate to warmer areas west of the Mississippi River, such as California, south Texas and areas of Mexico. Outside of North America, as stated on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" website, these geese can be found on the tundra of Siberia and throughout Russia. The body of these geese is a greyish brown, with orange feet and legs, an orange or pink-tinted bill and white forehead and bill base. A fully-grown greater white-fronted goose weighs around 3.18 Kilogram, with a 2.6 foot wingspan.

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About the Author

Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.