Ross's Goose

Chen rossii

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

ROGO

Code 6

CHEROS

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Ross’s Goose is a goose native to North America. This bird’s preferred breeding range includes northern Canada, in the Queen Maud Gulf Bird Sanctuary. During winter months, the Ross’s Goose will migrate south to the southern United States and northern regions of Mexico. This bird is rarely found in Western Europe, but is commonly part of wildfowl collections. Diets consist of insects, berries and seeds, and nests are built on the ground in wooded areas near open bodies of water. The conservation rating for the Ross’s Goose is currently listed as Least Concern due to maintained and increasing populations in recent years.

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Ross's Goose: Small, white goose with black primary feathers and stubby gray-based red-orange bill. Red-orange legs and feet. Eats mostly fresh grasses and grains, often in the company of Snow Geese. Rapid direct flight with strong wing beats. Flies in a V formation. North America's smallest goose.


Range and Habitat

Ross's Goose: Breeds on tundra in coastal regions of extreme northern Canada and on Southampton Island in the Hudson Bay. Spends winters in California and in increasing numbers in the lower Mississippi Valley, on the east coast, and along the Gulf Coast of Texas, Mexico, and the Yucatan Peninsula. Found in salt and freshwater marshes during winter.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kug", "kek-kek", "ke-gak, ke-gak"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Ross’s Goose was first reported as the “Horned Wavey” by the explorer Samuel Hearne during his travels to the central Canadian Arctic between 1770 and 1771, it was not described for science until almost a century later (Cassin 1861).
  • Its nesting grounds remained unknown for another 80 years until Angus Gavin located them in the Perry River region of the central Canadian Arctic in 1940.
  • Their population has increased from a recorded low of 2,000–3,000 in the early 1950s to an estimated global population of 1,100,000 individuals.
  • A group of geese has many collective nouns, including a "blizzard", "chevron", "knot", "plump", and "string" of geese.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Ross's Goose

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

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