Greylag Goose male

Greylag Goose

Scientific name: Anser anser

Did you know: The Greylag Goose, known as the ancestor of most domestic geese, was one of the first animals to be domesticated, with this happening at least as early as 1360 BCE in Ancient Egypt!

What Do Greylag Geese Look Like? (how to identify them)

The Greylag Goose, a majestic wild goose native to the UK and Europe, is the largest and bulkiest among its kind. 

With mottled and barred grey and white plumage, complemented by an orange beak and pink legs, this bird is a sight to behold.

Differences Between Male And Female Greylag Geese

Male and female Greylag Geese are similar in appearance. However, males tend to be slightly larger and bulkier than their female counterparts, a subtle distinction observed more keenly in the field.

What Do Greylag Geese Eat?

These geese primarily feed on grass, roots, cereal leaves, and spilled grain. Their diet adapts to the season, with a preference for grasses and cereals.

Where Do Greylag Geese Live? (inc. migration info)

Greylag Geese are found in various habitats, including urban and suburban areas, marine and intertidal zones, farmlands, wetlands, and grasslands. Their migration patterns are fascinating, with northern birds moving southwards in winter, while many populations are resident, even in the north.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Greylag Geese)

These geese are known for their loud and distinctive calls, often heard in flocks. Their cackling call, similar to that of domestic geese, adds a lively soundtrack to their habitats.

Fun Greylag Goose Facts (kid friendly)

  • Greylag Geese are the ancestors of most domestic geese.
  • They can have a wingspan of up to 180cm – that’s wider than most humans are tall!
  • Their beaks change colour with the seasons, turning more vivid during breeding.
  • These geese often mate for life, showing us a beautiful example of animal loyalty.
  • In flight, their powerful wings create an impressive sight against the sky.
  • Young Greylag Geese stay with their parents for a whole year.
  • They are known to migrate long distances, but some choose to stay in the same area year-round.
  • Greylag Geese are talented grazers and can eat a variety of plants and grains.
  • They have a unique ‘triumph call’ used after scaring away predators.
  • In the wild, these geese can live up to 10-15 years.

Facts About The Greylag Goose

Diet: Cereal leaves, grass, spilled grain and roots.
Bird Family: Ducks, geese and swans
Length: 75 - 90cm
Wingspan: 148 - 180 cm
Weight: 3 - 3.7kg
Scientific Name: Anser anser

The Greylag Goose Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Greylag Goose Images

Male Greylag Goose Male
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