Pink-footed Goose

Anser brachyrhynchus (Baillon, 1834) PG PIFGO 1580
Family: Anseriformes > Anatidae

Pink-footed Goose, Tom Cadwallender

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.


Pink-footed Goose identification is often straightforward. The following article may help when identifying Pink-footed Goose.

related video

Identifying Grey Geese


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.




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

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2


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.


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.

Weekly occurence of Pink-footed Goose from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Pink-footed Goose ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


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


Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Gaelic: Gèadh-dearg-chasach
Welsh: Gwydd Droetbinc
Catalan: oca de bec curt
Czech: husa krátkozobá
Danish: Kortnæbbet Gås
Dutch: Kleine Rietgans
Estonian: lühinokk-hani
Finnish: lyhytnokkahanhi
French: Oie à bec court
German: Kurzschnabelgans
Hungarian: rövidcsoru lúd
Icelandic: Heiðagæs
Irish: Gé Ghobghearr
Italian: Oca zamperosee
Latvian: isknabja zoss
Lithuanian: trumpasnape žasis
Norwegian: Kortnebbgås
Polish: ges krótkodzioba
Portuguese: ganso-de-bico-curto
Slovak: hus krátkozobá
Slovenian: kratkokljuna gos
Spanish: Ánsar piquicorto
Swedish: spetsbergsgås

Links to more information from

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