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greater white-fronted goose

greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons)
Photo © Davd W. Brewer

Features and Behaviors

Also known as the speckled-belly goose, the greater white-fronted goose is about 28 inches long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). It has gray-brown feathers except under its tail, where the feathers are white. Some black bars are present on the belly feathers. There is a patch of white feathers at the base of the bill. The bill is pink, and the feet are yellow or orange. Immature individuals are similar to the adult in appearance but do not have the white feathers at the base of the bill.

The greater white-fronted goose can be seen at marshes, prairies, lakes and farm fields. It eats grasses, seeds, grains and aquatic plants. Its call sounds like a high-pitched laugh. Most individuals of this species winter from the coast of Louisiana and Texas south to Mexico, although some do live in Illinois in winter. This species nests in the Arctic.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae

Illinois Status: common, native