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.
Indian and global distribution:records (based on images):
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.
Sexual, seasonal & individual variation:
This species is not sexually dimorphic and no distinguishable individual and seasonal variation observed.
Status, Habitat and Habits:
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.
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).
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.
Cite this page along with its URL as: Bhavanarayeni, R., V. Satose, and A. Bayani. 2023. Anser erythropus (Linnaeus, 1758) – Lesser White-fronted Goose. Satose, V., A. Bayani, V. Ramachandran, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Birds of India, v. 2.17. Indian Foundation for Butterflies. http://www.birdsofindia.org/sp/684/Anser-erythropus
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