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Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Anser

Anser albifrons (Scopoli, 1769) – Greater White-fronted Goose

Taxonomic Notes:

Alternative Names: Lauging Goose.

Old Taxonomy: Branta albifrons Scopoli, 1789.

Subspecies in India: Anser albifrons albifrons (Scopoli, 1789).

Breeding Season: May to JuneExtralimital (mainly Arctic coasts of Europe and Asia).

Nest: Nests made of twigs and grasses around marshes, lakes.

Eggs: 3-5 eggs.

Indian and global distribution:
records (based on images):


Length: 66-86 cm, Weight: 2-3 kg, 

Distinguishing Characters: 

Adult: Ashy-brown overall, pink beak with broad white patch on the forehead (around the base of beak), black barrings on belly, dark rump, yellow legs. 
Young/Immature: Overall duller, absence of the white patch around beak and forehead, yellow legs.

Similar Species in India:

Greylag Goose: Differs from Greater White-fronted by having pink beak, pink legs, absence of white patch around beak. 

Lesser White-fronted Goose: Differs from Greater White-fronted by having a yellow eye-ring and small size. 

Bean Goose: Differs from Greater White-fronted by having overall darker colouration, black beak with yellow spot.

Sexual, seasonal & individual variation:

The sexes are alike, there is no distinguishable seasonal and individual variation. 
Status, Habitat and Habits:

It is usually seen along with the larger gregarious flocks of Greylag and Bar-headed Geese. Greater White-fronted geese occur in 2s or 4s in such flocks. Usually active early in the day, resting during afternoon and active again by evening. 

Foraging Behaviour: Diet is largely herbivorous, feeding on grasses and sometimes feeding on small crustaceans, amphibians, molluscs and fishes.

Call/Song: Loud high-pitched musical disyllabic honking.

Migration Status: Strongly Migratory, a sparse and a rare winter visitor in India and mainly in the northern and central regions.

IUCN Status: Least Concern.


1. Rasmussen, P. C., and J. C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Washington, DC.

2. Ali, S., and S. D. Ripley. 1978. Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan: Together with those of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Ceylon (Vol. 1). Oxford University Press.

3. Stuart Baker, E. C. 1933. The Nidification of Birds of the Indian Empire. Taylor And Francis.

Aves > Anseriformes > Anatidae > Anser

Cite this page along with its URL as:
Bayani, A. 2022. Anser albifrons (Scopoli, 1769) – Greater White-fronted Goose. Satose, V., A. Bayani, V. Ramachandran, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Birds of India, v. 2.17. Indian Foundation for Butterflies.
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