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  ScienceZoologyBirdsOrder Anseriformes
Ross' GooseRoss' Goose

Chen rossii


Ross' geese are small compared to many other members of the geese family -- about 24 inches long, a wingspan of about 45 inches, and weighing between 30 and 72 ounces. The male is slightly larger than the female, otherwise both sexes look alike.

They are completely white except for black primaries, a greenish warty patch at the base of a pink bill, and dark pink legs. Goslings are pale gray above and white below, have a gray line through the eyes, and gray legs, feet and bill.

range of Ross' GooseDistribution and Habitat

Ross' geese breed in the central Canadian Arctic and winter primarily in central California, but they are becoming more frequent farther east. They are found on low arctic tundra or islands in shallow lakes during the breeding season, and in agricultural fields and shallow wetlands during the winter.


The nest is a depression scraped into the ground and lined with plant material and down feathers. Two to six eggs are laid per clutch. The female does all of the incubation, with the male standing guard. Goslings are able to leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching.


Ross' geese are strictly vegetarian, feeding on grasses, sedges, legumes, and domestic grains.

Scientific Classification

phylum Chordata
subphylum Vertebrata
class Aves
order Anseriformes
family Anatidae
subfamily Anserinae
genus & species Chen rossii

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This page was last updated on September 18, 2015.

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