Anser brachyrhynchus (Baillon, 1834)
Family: Anseriformes > Anatidae
Pink-footed Goose is one of the so-called ‘grey’ geese, smaller and more compact than the more common Greylag, with a higher pitched call.
The entire Icelandic and eastern Greenlandic population of this species comes to Britain in winter, making these islands an internationally-important destination for more than a quarter of a million birds. Bird Atlas 2007–11 shows their winter distribution is focused on Scotland's eastern coastal plain and lowlands, together with a broad sweep of northern and eastern England.
A substantial population increase over the last 40 years, and a doubling of the wintering range within Britain, means that skeins of migrating Pink-footed Geese are a common sight. A sizeable proportion of these birds fly to the Norfolk's north coast, where they feed on discarded sugar beet tops after harvest.
Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Pink-footed Goose
Pink-footed Goose identification is often straightforward. The following article may help when identifying Pink-footed Goose.
Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Pink-footed Goose, provided by xeno-canto contributors.
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Status and Trends
Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.
This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.
|UK winter population||+104% increase (1995/96 to 2020/21)|
Each autumn the entire population of Pink-footed Geese breeding in Iceland and eastern Greenland migrates southeast to winter almost exclusively in Britain, where flocks favour intensively farmed lowlands, and generally avoid upland areas. This species is uncommon in Shetland, northwest Scotland, Ireland, Wales, southwest and southern England. In Scotland it is found along the eastern coastal plain, through the central lowlands, mainly in the east, and around the Solway Firth. In England it is found mainly in a broad band from Lancashire across to Lincolnshire and Norfolk, though the winter relative abundance map suggests that the highest densities are found close to the coast.
Occupied 10-km squares in UK
|No. occupied in breeding season||3|
|% occupied in breeding season||0.1|
|No. occupied in winter||1062|
|% occupied in winter||35|
European Distribution Map
A large population increase has resulted in a doubling of the British range size since the 1981–84 Winter Atlas. Gains have taken place throughout the range, but are most noticeable in England, northeast Scotland and the Northern Isles.
|% change in range in winter (1981–84 to 2007–11)||+94.6%|
Pink-footed Geese are locally very common winter visitors, arriving in September and present through to April/May. Odd individuals and naturalised birds may be encountered in summer.
Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.
Lifecycle and body size information about Pink-footed Goose, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.
View number ringed each year in the Online Ringing Report
|Maximum Age from Ringing||38 years 7 months 7 days (set in 1998)|
|Typical Lifespan||8 years with breeding typically at 3 year|
|Adult Survival||0.829±0.009 (Male: 0.805±0.07 Female: 0.835±0.06)|
|Juvenile Survival||0.775 (to age 3)|
|Wing Length||Adults||434.7±28.7 | Range 405–467mm, N=59|
|Males||441.9±13.3 | Range 423–465mm, N=23|
|Females||425.2±18.9 | Range 387–457mm, N=35|
|Body Weight||Adults||2.80±0.32 | Range 2.22–3.40kg, N=58|
|Males||2.88±0.36 | Range 2.22–3.40kg, N=23|
|Females||2.74±0.28 | Range 2.35–3.15kg, N=35|
Feather measurements and photos on featherbase
|Field Codes||2-letter: PG | 5-letter code: PIFGO | Euring: 1580|
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