Lesser Snow Goose (and Ross' Goose)

Lesser Snow Goose (and Ross' Goose)

North Dakota Game Species
Fact Sheet
Genus species Chen caerulescens (Ross' Goose - Chen rossii)
Wing spread 58 inches
Body length 29 inches
Weight 6 pounds
Description Snow geese occur in two color phases, white and blue, and both sexes are identical within each phase. In the white phase, geese are all white with black wing tips. Blue geese are blue-gray with a white head. Ross’s geese are virtually identical to white phase snow geese. Ross’s geese are a distinct species that weigh 3-4 pounds and have smaller, stubbier bills.
Nesting Habitat Snow geese occur in two color phases, white and blue, and both sexes are identical within each phase. In the white phase, geese are all white with black wing tips. Blue geese are blue-gray with a white head. Ross’s geese are virtually identical to white phase snow geese. Ross’s geese are a distinct species that weigh 3-4 pounds and have smaller, stubbier bills.
Clutch size 4 eggs
Incubation period 23 days
Status in North Dakota Snow geese are abundant during migration seasons, but do not nest in North Dakota.
Food habits Snow geese graze heavily on foliage and tubers on tundra breeding grounds. During migration and on wintering grounds they feed heavily on agricultural crops.
Fun Facts Agricultural crops, particularly rice on wintering grounds, provide an abundant food source. This has allowed the snow goose population to rapidly expand. As a result, an overabundance of snow geese has led to the destruction of much of the vegetation on breeding grounds.