White-fronted goose

White-fronted Goose

©David Tipling/2020VISION

White-fronted goose

Scientific name: Anser albifrons
The white-fronted goose lives up to its name - look out for the white patch on its forehead and around its bill. It does not breed in the UK, but flies here from Greenland and Siberia for the 'warmer' winter weather.

Species information


Length: 65-76cm
Wingspan: 1.4m
Weight: 2.5kg
Average lifespan: 6 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

When to see

October to March


The white-fronted goose is a winter visitor, arriving from Greenland and Siberia at the end of October, and returning north again at the end of March. It eats roots, shoots, tubers and leaves, as well as grains and oats.

How to identify

The white-fronted goose is most easily distinguished from other geese by the white flash on its forehead and around its bill, the dark stripes on its belly and its orange legs. Siberian birds have pink bills, while Greenland birds have orange bills.


Only found here in the winter. Birds that nest in Greenland spend the winter in Ireland and the west coast of Scotland, while those from northern Europe and Siberia come to southern England for the winter.

Did you know?

The collective noun for a group of geese is a 'gaggle'. More than 15,000 White-fronted Geese overwinter in in the UK; they can be seen in gaggles on our wetland and farmland habitats.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. 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.