Anser erythropus (Linnaeus, 1758) - Lesser White-fronted Goose

Subspecies in India

Alternative Names: Squeaking Goose, Peeping Goose, Dwarf Goose.

Old Taxonomy: Anas erythropus Linnaeus, 1758.

This species is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (




Photo Gallery and Species Biology

Breeding season: May-June, generally monogamous. 

Nest: Nest is shallow depression in dwarf shrub on hilly ground lined with grass, moss; frequently in close proximity to open water or marshes. Frequently uses same site in subsequent seasons.

Eggs: 4–6 creamy-white eggs, 76 mm × 49 mm.

Size: 53–66 cm

Distinguishing characters:  Short pink bill and prominent eye ring with white forehead patch.

Male: Ashy brown coloured overall, dark head and upper neck. Has blotchy black bars on lower breast and belly. Relatively shorter pink beak. Extensve white patch on forehead, yellow eye-ring, yellow legs and overall smaller size are diagnstic.

Female: Same as male.

Young/Immature: Similar to adult, but duller overall. Lacks the extensive wihte forehead patch, black bands on breast and belly and eye-ring.

Similar Species in India: This species can be easily confused with following species:

(1) Greylag Goose: Can be distinguished by pink beak, pink legs, large size, lack of white forehead patch and yellow eye-ring.

(2) Greater White-fronted Goose: Can be distinguished by having less extensive white forehead patch, and absence of yellow eye-ring.

(3) Bean Goose: Can be distinguished by having black beak, orange legs and absence of eye-ring.

This species is uncommon. It inhabits inland wetland and grasslands of tundra regions, up to 700m asl. It is migratory, breeding in Russia, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Finland and Sweden, and wintering in India, China, Greece, Turkey, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates. It congregates during the migratory season and disperses in pairs for breeding season to isolated territories (BirdLife International 2018).

Foraging Behaviour: Diet largely include aquatic vegetation.

Call/Song: Squeakier and higher-pitched call than that of Greater White-fronted Goose; two- or three-note calls male (“kyu-yu” or “kyu-yu-yu”) higher-pitched; female (“kow-yow”).

Migration Status: Migratory, a rare winter visitor in India, usually found as 2-4 individuals along with large flocks of Greylag Goose. 

Conservation Status:



According to the IUCN Red List Assessment, the population of this species is declining, with the current population estimate is 16,000-27,000 individuals. The threat to its persistence comes from breeding habitat disturbance due to large-scale commercial and agricultural projects. The species survival rate is also low due to illegal hunting along the migratory route and on wintering grounds (BirdLife International 2018).







StateJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecNo date
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Daman & Diu
Himachal Pradesh
Jammu and Kashmir
Madhya Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal

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.

4. BirdLife International 2018. Anser erythropus . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22679886A132300164. Accessed on 02 February 2020.

Page citation

Anonymous 2024. Anser erythropus (Linnaeus, 1758) – Lesser White-fronted Goose. In Satose, V., A. Bayani, V. Ramachandran, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 2.17. Published by the Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL:, accessed 2024/06/25.