White-fronted Goose - Anser albifrons

Alternative names
Greater White-fronted Goose

A grey goose, bigger than a Mallard and smaller than a Mute Swan. Adults have a large white patch at the front of the head around the beak and bold black bars on the belly. The legs are orange. Males are generally larger than the females. There are five subspecies worldwide, two of which visit the UK. Siberian birds (the European White-fronted Goose, Anser albifrons albifrons) have pink bills, while Greenland birds (the Greenland White-fronted Goose, Anser albifrons flavirostris) have orange bills.

Identification difficulty

Tundra lakes, wet meadows on migration flooded fields & estuaries. Southern England especially the Severn estuary in Gloucester and the Swale estuary in Kent for Siberian birds; Ireland and West Scotland for Greenland birds.

When to see it

October to March.

Life History

This species does not breed in the UK. Two races visit the UK in winter - birds that breed in Greenland and birds that breed in Siberia. The current wintering areas need protection, including avoiding drainage of traditional wintering areas in southern England

UK Status

Winter migrant - 2,500 individuals.

VC55 Status

Winter visitor and passage migrant

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map