Anser Caerulescens – Snow Geese

Anser Caerulescens - Snow Geese found in the US

The snow geese (Anser caerulescens) is a North American bird species. There are white and dark variants, the latter of which is frequently referred to as blue goose. Its name is derived from its characteristic white plumage. Previously classified in the genus Chen, the species is now commonly classified in the “gray goose” genus Anser.

Quick Overview: Anser Caerulescens – Snow Geese
Body size: Around 25-31 in (64-79 cm) and a weight of 2299 g (81.13 oz)
Main colors: White, Gray-Blue, Brown
Range: Throughout the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May, September, October, November
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Snow Geese Description

Snow geese have two plumage morphs: white (snow) and gray/blue (blue), hence the common names “snows” and “blues.” Immature birds’ feet, legs, and bills have less vibrant colors. The rusty-brown coloration on the head is caused by minerals in the soil where they graze.

Anser Caerulescens - Snow Geese found in the US
Anser Caerulescens – Snow Geese. Source: Wikipedia

Size

These birds have a length of 25-31 in (64-79 cm) and a weight of 2299 g (81.13 oz). Their wings could range from 54.3 in (138 cm).

Feeding

Feeds on the seeds, leaves, and roots of a variety of wild grass species, as well as sedges, bulrushes, and horsetails. Goslings that are very young may feed on insect larvae. In the fall, it is possible to consume a large number of berries. Winter flocks frequently graze on crop residue in agricultural fields.

Habitat

It is a winter visitor to the Atlantic coast of the United States, where it frequents maritime inlets and bays, marshes, coastal plains, and cultivated fields. The Greater Snow Goose is a swift flier on land, water, and air. It is an excellent walker.

Behavior

Snow geese move in vast flocks and soar at all hours of the day and night. During their trip, they rest and graze on marshes and other wetlands. They often nest in the same spot each year.

Anser Caerulescens Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Genus: Anser
  • Species: Anser caerulescens

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds are during the Spring season (March-May) and during the Autumn season (September – November).

Distribution of the Snow Geese in the USA

Breeds in North America’s Arctic areas and eastern Siberia. Winters along the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia to Baja California in the west; also, in the mid-Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Mississippi to Texas.

The Snow Geese can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Anser Caerulescens – Snow Geese

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