Pink-footed goose

Pink-footed Goose

©David Tipling/2020VISION

Pink-footed goose

Scientific name: Anser brachyrhynchus
The pink-footed goose is a winter visitor to the UK, feeding on our wetland and farmland habitats. About 360,000 individuals spend the winter here, making it a really important destination for this bird.

Species information


Length: 61-76cm
Wingspan: 1.5m
Weight: 2.5kg
Average lifespan: 8 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Amber under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

When to see

October to April


The pink-footed goose is one of our smaller geese, with a relatively short neck, rounded head and short bill. It flies here from Greenland and Iceland in October to spend the winter, returning north in April.

How to identify

The pink-footed goose is a small, grey goose, with a short, pink bill and pink legs.


Only found here in the winter. Birds that nest in Greenland and Iceland spend the winter in Scotland, North West England and East Anglia.

Did you know?

The pink-footed goose is well-known for its loud, honking call that it often performs while flying in a flock, or 'skein'; look out for the characteristic V-formation that so many migrating birds use.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. We also work closely with farmers and landowners to encourage sensitive farming for the benefit of wildlife. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.