30 Different Types of Geese Breeds

Different types of geese breeds

There are many different types of geese, ranging from wild species found in various corners of the globe to domestic breeds that have been raised for their unique qualities and companionship.

Geese in the wild are explorers, capable of flying great distances and adapting to various environments. Domestic geese, on the other hand, offer a variety of purposes and are often seen as beloved farm animals.

This article will explore the roots and characteristics of various geese breeds, including where they live, how they behave, and what makes them remarkable. So, read on and get to know these wonderful birds!

30 Types of Geese Breeds

1. Embden Goose

Embden Goose
Length:39.6 in (100 cm)
Weight:20–31 lbs (9–14 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 12 years

One of the biggest types of domestic geese is the Embden Goose. They are the most common goose breed used for commercial meat production due to their large bodies and fast growth rate.

With their pure white plumage, ocean-blue eyes, and short, light orange bills, they look like any other white farmyard goose. Their legs are also orange, which complements their overall look.

These geese are herbivores and excellent foragers, often seen grazing on grass and other vegetation.

Their temperament is generally calm and gentle. However, males or ganders can be quite protective and vocal, which makes them effective as alarm birds against potential threats.

Embden Geese don’t lay many eggs and produce only around 30 eggs per year, but they are often broody and make excellent mothers.

2. Toulouse Goose

Toulouse Goose
Color:Gray, buff
Length:31 in (80 cm)
Weight:20–26 lbs (9–12 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 22 years

Just like the Embden Goose, the Toulouse Goose is known for its large size and is raised primarily for meat production. But apart from their meat, foie gras is what they are mostly used for.

These geese are raised in a special way to produce high-quality foie gras that people enjoy in fancy meals.

In terms of appearance, Toulouse Geese have a distinctive gray color and are recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA) in two varieties: the original Gray and the Buff.

Toulouse Geese have a gentle demeanor, generally displaying a calm and docile nature. They are not prolific layers, but their eggs are quite large and white.

3. Sebastopol Goose

Sebastopol Goose
Length:Not specified
Weight:10–14 lbs (4–6 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

With its long, white, curly feathers, the Sebastopol Goose easily stands out from other goose species.

They were originally developed in central Europe in the 1800s to have their curly feathers, which were then used in making pillows and quilts.

Due to the structure of their feathers, these geese are not great flyers. Nonetheless, they are adaptable and can thrive in various environments.

Prized for their beauty and adaptability, Sebastopol Geese are mainly kept for ornamental purposes. These birds make excellent companions and show birds because of their quiet and friendly demeanor.

4. Pomeranian Goose

Pomeranian Goose
Color:Gray, white, buff
Length:Not specified
Weight:15–18 lbs (7–8 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

Native to Germany, the Pomeranian Goose is known for its large size and sociable nature. They come in four color varieties: white, gray, saddleback gray, and saddleback buff.

One characteristic that sets Pomeranian Geese apart from other breeds is their distinctive single-lobed paunch.

These geese are specifically bred to have this unique trait. However, it’s worth noting that in North America, Pomeranian Geese tend to have two lobes because of genetic diversity and inbreeding.

In terms of behavior, Pomeranian Geese are quite engaging and chatty. They’ll be sure to let you know if someone comes around with their noisy greetings.

Furthermore, these birds are valued for their meat and egg production. They are great layers and can produce up to 70 large eggs per season.

Their combination of distinctive physical traits and versatile utility makes Pomeranian Geese a popular breed.

5. Steinbacher Goose

Steinbacher Goose
Color:Gray, blue, buff, cream
Length:Not specified
Weight:11–15 lbs (5–7 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Steinbacher Goose is a rare type of goose with a rich history. Originating from Germany, these geese were initially bred for fighting but are now admired for their calm and confident demeanor.

With their erect posture and full breasts, these birds have a striking appearance. Their beaks are particularly notable, being orange with black edges that look like lipstick markings.

People keep these geese for their meat and eggs, but they are also popular in exhibitions due to their unique look and proud posture.

Unfortunately, Steinbacher Geese are considered to be an endangered breed. This makes it even more important to take good care of them and help their numbers grow so more people can enjoy these amazing birds in the future.

6. Roman Tufted Goose

Roman Tufted Goose
Length:Not specified
Weight:10–12 lbs (4–5 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

Small and endearing, the Roman Tufted Goose is a versatile bird beloved in various parts of the world for different reasons.

In Europe, they are valued as utility birds, bred mainly for their meat due to their ability to mature quickly. The presence of the tuft of feathers on their heads is considered optional.

Meanwhile, in North America, the breed is mostly kept for ornamental reasons, with a special focus on breeding them for their distinctive tufts.

These geese are pretty smart and alert, making them good at keeping an eye on things, like little watchdogs.

Despite their smaller size, they provide a good amount of meat, which makes them useful for culinary purposes.

7. American Buff Goose

American Buff Goose
Origin:North America
Length:Not specified
Weight:19.8–28.6 lbs (9–13 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The American Buff Goose is a captivating breed that hails from the United States and is distinguished by its warm, apricot-colored feathers.

Their back and sides have buff-colored feathers with a beautiful creamy white edging that gives them an elegant look.

Oddly enough, during laying or when there isn’t any green grass around, their orange legs could turn pink.

Through a friend who owns American Buff Geese, I gained firsthand experience with these charming birds. I found them to be very calm and approachable.

They are dual-purpose birds, raised for both meat and eggs. My friend also mentioned that American Buff Geese are excellent parents to their goslings.

Additionally, there is a tufted variant of this breed, which is a crossbreed with the Roman Tufted Goose and has a tuft of feathers on its head.

8. African Goose (Anser anser domesticus)

African Goose
Color:Brown, gray, white
Length:36 in (91 cm)
Weight:18–20 lbs (8–9 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

Despite its name, the African Goose is not actually from Africa. It’s a domesticated breed that originates in China.

With a large dewlap and a pronounced black knob on their heads, they are often confused with the Chinese Goose due to some similarities in appearance.

These massive birds can weigh up to 20 pounds, which makes them a popular choice for meat production. They are known for their tasty, lean meat and are considered an excellent choice for roasting.

Moreover, they are social animals, often kept in flocks of up to 30 birds, and are known to be excellent foragers.

9. Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii)

Rosss Goose
Origin:North America
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:White, black
Length:23.2–25.2 in (59–64 cm)
Weight:2.6–3.4 lbs (1–1.5 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

Native to North America, Ross’s Goose is a smaller version of the familiar Snow Goose. They’re similar in that they both have mostly white bodies and black wingtips. But what sets them apart is that Ross’s Geese have shorter necks and visibly stubbier bills.

These geese like to be around their own kind, and you can often see them in large groups. Sometimes, they even mingle with groups of Snow Geese.

For a long time, many people thought these geese were endangered. However, things have changed recently.

Due to Arctic warming, more grasslands have become available for these geese to feed on, which led to a significant increase in their numbers.

This positive change shows how adaptable Ross’s Geese are; they take advantage of the changing environment to ensure their survival and growth in the wild.

10. Bean Goose (Anser fabalis)

Bean Goose
Origin:Europe, Asia
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Gray, black
Length:27–35 in (68–90 cm)
Weight:3.7–8.8 lbs (2–4 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

The Bean Goose is a remarkable bird that calls the cold northern regions of Europe and Eurosiberia home. Historically, these geese were known to graze in bean field stubbles, which is believed to be the origin of their name.

Bean Geese are migratory creatures that travel to warmer parts of Europe and Asia when winter comes. They are not all the same, though.

This breed has two varieties: one lives in forested areas called taigas and the other in open, treeless lands known as tundras. Each has its own distinct characteristics and living conditions.

Their diet mainly consists of grass, roots, and other vegetation, which align with their natural habitats.

In terms of appearance, their bodies are covered in dark brown feathers, and they have a black bill with an orange stripe in the middle to match their orange feet and legs.

11. Greylag Goose (Anser answer)

Greylag Goose
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Brownish gray, black
Length:29–36 in (74–91 cm)
Weight:4.6–10.3 lbs (2–4 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 30 years

The Greylag Goose is the ancestor of nearly all domesticated and farmyard varieties of geese. It was one of the first animals to be domesticated, with evidence suggesting this occurred in Ancient Egypt over 3000 years ago.

Today, these geese are widespread. They are native to Europe and Asia, but their adaptability allows them to thrive in various habitats, including wetlands, marshes, and lakes.

In terms of diet, Greylag Geese are not particularly fussy eaters. Although their main food sources are plants, grasses, and roots, they also happily eat small fish and insects.

These birds are social animals, often seen in large flocks. They make about nine different kinds of honks and cackles, varying from quieter calls among family groups to loud, high-pitched alarm calls and sociable honks.

12. Brant Goose (Branta bernicla)

Brant Goose
Origin:Europe, Arctic
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Brown, black, white
Length:22–26 in (55–66 cm)
Weight:3.1–3.4 lbs (1.4–1.5 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 28 years

Also called Brent Goose, the Brant Goose is a type of goose known for its compact size and short neck. With its dark brown body, black head, and white collar, this small goose has its own unique charm.

Interestingly, there are variations within the species, with some having different belly colors and patterns.

Brant Geese are native to the Arctic, where they nest in wetlands surrounded by lush grasses and sedges. During winter, they migrate to bays, estuaries, and lagoons. Here, they form flocks and feed on aquatic vegetation like eelgrass.

Their behavior is also quite intriguing, often producing calls that are reminiscent of Sandhill Cranes.

13. Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides)

Swan Goose
Conservation Status:Vulnerable
Color:Brown, white
Length:32–37 in (81–94 cm)
Weight:6.2–7.7 lbs (3–3.5 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Swan Goose is a beautiful breed of goose renowned for its unique looks and habits. They are large, long-necked water birds that are grayish-brown in color.

Originating from regions like Mongolia, northernmost China, and the Russian Far East, these geese migrate to central and eastern China during the winter.

They prefer habitats close to freshwater lakes and fast-flowing rivers. That said, these birds hardly ever swim and spend much of their time grazing on plants.

They mainly eat grasses, leaves, roots, sedges, and water plants, but they also occasionally eat seeds and nuts.

Wild Swan Geese are increasingly becoming rare these days, but domesticated varieties of the species can be found in many regions outside of their natural range.

In fact, some common domestic geese, like the Chinese and African geese, are actually descendants of the Swan Goose.

14. Kelp Goose (Chloephaga hybrida)

Kelp Goose
Origin:South America
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Dark brown, white
Length:22–26 in (55–65 cm)
Weight:4.4–5.7 lbs (2–2.5 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

Native to the southern parts of Chile and Argentina, the Kelp Goose is a fascinating breed. These geese exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females have different appearances.

Males are easy to spot with their all-white feathers and black beaks, while females sport a dark brown color with gray stripes across their chests.

What’s really interesting about these geese is their diet. They love eating kelp, a type of seaweed. In fact, they love it so much that they’ll travel up and down the coast just to find it.

When it comes to nesting, Kelp Geese like to keep their eggs hidden in tall grasses. They lay about 5 to 7 eggs at a time and incubate them for 30 days.

15. Emperor Goose (Anser canagicus)

Emperor Goose
Origin:Alaska, Russia
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Color:Black, gray, white
Length:26–30 in (66–76 cm)
Weight:6.1–7 lbs (2–3 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 12 years

Also known as the Beach Goose or the Painted Goose, the Emperor Goose is a rare and beautiful bird from Alaska. With a mix of blue-gray and black feathers, a white head, and bright orange legs, it really stands out.

These geese prefer habitats like rocky beaches and brackish wetlands, where they feast on a diet of mussels, barnacles, eelgrass, and sea lettuce.

Most of them choose to nest in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, but some can be found as far as Eastern Russia.

Despite facing a decline in the late 20th century, the Emperor Goose population is showing signs of recovery. However, they still remain on the IUCN Red List, which indicates a need for ongoing conservation efforts.

16. Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)

Snow Goose
Origin:North America
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:25–33 in (63–84 cm)
Weight:4.4–7.1 lbs (2–3 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

The Snow Goose is known for its pure white plumage, which is where it gets its name. Though, some have a darker gray-brown color and are called Blue Geese.

Not long ago, people thought these birds were two different species, but it turns out they are just two color morphs of the same bird.

Native to the Arctic tundra, these geese migrate south during winter and form massive, honking flocks. When in flight, these gatherings are quite a sight, looking like a “snowstorm” of white birds across the sky.

During their migration, they settle in southern coastal marshes, bays, and wet grasslands. When spring returns, they head back north to their breeding grounds.

Snow Geese are monogamous, with pairs sticking together for life. They lay 2 to 6 eggs annually, and their chicks are quite independent.

These goslings are capable of swimming and feeding themselves within just a day of hatching.

17. Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)

Bar headed Goose
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Black, gray, white
Length:26.7–30.7 in (68–78 cm)
Weight:4.4–6.6 lbs (2–3 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Bar-headed Goose is a truly extraordinary bird. With two distinct black stripes on their white heads, they stand out among other geese species.

But what really makes them special is their incredible flying skills. They hold the title of being one of the world’s highest-flying birds, conquering the mighty Himalayas during their migratory journeys.

Remarkably, they’ve even been spotted soaring over Mount Everest and heard flying across Mount Makalu, the fifth-highest mountain on Earth.

During their long journeys, they show off their amazing strength and stamina. These geese are able to fly more than a thousand miles in just one day.

Their powerful wings and robust bodies enable them to navigate through challenging crosswinds without being swept away.

18. Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

Barnacle Goose
Origin:Greenland, Arctic
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Black, white
Length:21.6–27.5 in (55–70 cm)
Weight:2.7–5 lbs (1–2 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 24 years

An interesting bird with a unique look is the Barnacle Goose. Their faces are bright white, contrasted by a black head, neck, and upper breast.

With their soft white bellies and wings that shimmer in shades of gray and black, they look like they’re wearing elegant suits.

What’s truly intriguing about these geese is the old legend surrounding them. People once believed they grew from driftwood, which led to their unique name.

This misconception grew because Barnacle Geese nests were never spotted, and goose barnacles also have black-and-white stripes.

In terms of behavior, Barnacle Geese have a unique nesting strategy. They often build their nests on high mountain cliffs to keep them safe from predators.

But this safe spot comes with a challenge. Baby geese have to leap off the cliffs to start their life’s journey.

19. Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)

Cackling Goose
Origin:North America
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Brown, black
Length:22–27 in (56–68 cm)
Weight:3–5 lbs (1–2 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

The Cackling Goose is a type of goose that often gets mistaken for its larger counterpart, the Canada Goose.

These geese are like miniatures of the Canada Goose in appearance. However, there are subtle differences that set them apart.

Cackling Geese have thicker beaks and shorter necks, which are even more noticeable when you see them fly. Their heads are typically more rounded, and their calls are notably higher-pitched compared to the deep honks of Canada Geese.

These geese thrive in marshes and fields, where they often forage in large flocks. They are often seen mingling with their larger relatives and other birds.

In the winter and during migration, you can usually find them in the southern Great Plains, the Central Valley of California, and the Pacific Northwest.

20. Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Canada Goose
Origin:North America
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Brown, black
Length:29.5–43.3 in (75–110 cm)
Weight:4.4–14.3 lbs (2–6 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 23 years

Renowned for their widespread presence, the Canada Goose is a prominent figure in North America’s bird population.

Throughout the year, these adaptable geese can be seen in every neighboring state in the United States and every province in Canada, which makes them one of the most recognizable birds on the continent.

With at least 11 subspecies known, the diversity of the Canada Goose is a fascinating trait. These subspecies vary slightly; they often get smaller as you move north and take on darker colors as you move west.

Unlike many waterfowl, Canada Geese primarily forage on land. Their diet is diverse, ranging from grassy plant leaves, flowers, stems, and roots to a mix of seeds and berries.

These hardworking feeders graze for up to 12 hours a day to make sure they get all the nutrients they need to stay alive and be healthy.

21. Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)

Red breasted Goose
Conservation Status:Vulnerable
Color:Red, black, white
Length:21–22 in (53–56 cm)
Weight:2.2–3.3 lbs (1–1.5 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

Often considered one of the most attractive species of geese due to its vibrant colors and unique markings, the Red-breasted Goose is undoubtedly a sight to behold.

These geese are relatively small, but their stunning red, black, and white plumage certainly makes them stand out.

In their natural habitat, these geese are quite sociable and tend to stick together in tight-knit groups.

However, when they feel threatened by other birds, they will stand their ground and defend their area aggressively by puffing up their feathers and making a variety of hisses and squawks.

Sadly, despite their beauty and resilience, these geese face challenges. Their numbers have been dropping significantly, and it’s believed that only around 40,000 remain in the wild today.

That said, this breed has garnered attention in wildfowl collections and is becoming more common in captivity.

22. Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis)

Hawaiian Goose
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Color:Black, cream
Length:20.8–26 in (53–66 cm)
Weight:3.3–6.6 lbs (1.5–3 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

Commonly known as the Nēnē, the Hawaiian Goose is the world’s rarest goose species. With a soft and gentle call that inspired its name, the Nēnē is a symbol of Hawaii and is recognized as the state bird.

They are closely related to the giant Canada Goose and migrated to the Hawaiian Islands over 500,000 years ago.

Over time, Hawaiian Geese have adapted to the difficult terrain of Hawaii’s lava rocks by developing unique traits such as padded toes and reduced webbing.

During one of my research trips, I was fortunate enough to see the amazing Hawaiian Goose in its natural habitat.

You’ll find these geese in places like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where they roam freely. Seeing these birds in person, along with learning about the efforts being made to preserve them, left a lasting impression on me.

Hawaiian Geese are not just a rare sight; they’re also protected by law due to their endangered status. So, if you’re lucky enough to spot one, make sure to admire them from a distance.

23. Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)

Egyptian Goose
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Gray, tan
Length:25–29 in (63–73 cm)
Weight:3.3–5 lbs (1.5–2 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Egyptian Goose is a beautiful bird with distinctive markings that make it easily recognizable.

Male Egyptian Geese have patchwork-like coloration that is accentuated by their long pink legs and the characteristic “bandit’s mask” that surrounds their dark yellow eyes.

Females are just as beautiful as males, but they are usually smaller and have darker markings on their beaks.

If you listen closely, you’ll notice their calls are different as well. Males make a hissing sound, and females give off a loud quack.

Despite their name, these birds are not true geese. They are actually more closely related to shelducks, which combine many qualities of a duck and some external features of a goose.

Native to Africa, this breed has spread to various parts of the world, including Europe and the United States, mainly due to its popularity as an ornamental bird.

24. Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata)

Magpie Goose
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Black, white
Length:27.5–35.4 in (70–90 cm)
Weight:4.4–6.6 lbs (2–3 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

Found primarily in northern and eastern Australia, the Magpie Goose is the last surviving species of the Anseranatidae family.

They are easy to spot with their black and white feathers and a characteristic knob on their heads, which increases in size as they age.

These geese like to live near slow-moving waters and big lakes, where they eat wild rice and seeds from water plants and grasses.

An interesting aspect of Magpie Geese is their breeding behavior. They usually breed in trios, with two females laying eggs in a nest built by one male goose. All parents take turns caring for and incubating their offspring.

25. Andean Goose (Chloephaga melanoptera)

Andean Goose
Origin:South America
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Black, white
Length:28–31 in (71–79 cm)
Weight:6–7.4 lbs (2–3 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

The Andean Goose is a unique bird that lives in the high Andean mountains. They have a hemoglobin mutation that makes them specially adapted to these elevations and allows them to soar higher than most birds.

In terms of looks, both males and females of this species share the same physical characteristics, including the same black and white plumage and a small pink beak.

These geese are primarily terrestrial and only ever swim during emergencies. As land birds, their diet consists primarily of grasses, sedges, and herbs.

Social behaviors of Andean Geese vary seasonally. When they are not breeding, individuals form small flocks to forage and socialize. But when it’s time to nest, they become quite territorial and prefer to be alone.

26. Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)

Pink footed Goose
Origin:Greenland, Iceland
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Brown, white
Length:24–30 in (60–75 cm)
Weight:4–7.5 lbs (1.8–3.4 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

Known for its unique appearance and social behavior, the Pink-footed Goose is a charming bird.

With a name derived from their distinct pink-colored feet, these geese also have a brownish body, a lighter belly, and a pink bill to match their feet.

Pink-footed Geese are gregarious birds that love being in large groups. They do almost everything together, whether it’s feeding, nesting, or molting.

When they fly, it’s quite a sight! Imagine seeing a huge group, sometimes as many as 40,000 birds, all flying together.

During the day, these geese are busy looking for food, and at night, they prefer to rest on water, staying safe in their large colonies. And they’re not just about sticking together; they really care for one another.

In their colonies, they help protect and take care of each other’s babies, which shows just how close-knit they are.

27. Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera)

Blue winged Goose
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Color:Gray, brown, blue
Length:24–30 in (60–75 cm)
Weight:3.3–5 lbs (1.5–2 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

The Blue-winged Goose is a rare type of goose that can only be found in Ethiopia. They have mottled gray-brown bodies and, as their name suggests, noticeable blue wings.

These geese like to live in high places with lots of wetlands and grassy areas, where they find plenty of plants and seeds to eat.

Their lifestyle is as unique as their appearance. Unlike many of their counterparts, Blue-winged Geese are night birds and are most active when it’s dark.

This nocturnal nature helps them stay safe from predators and keep cool. In addition to their limited distribution, this may be another reason why not much is known about the species.

28. Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)

Greater White fronted Goose
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Gray, white
Length:25–32 in (64–81 cm)
Weight:4–7 lbs (2–3 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

A medium-sized goose, the Greater White-fronted goose can be found in many places across the Northern Hemisphere. Named for the white circle at the base of its pinkish-orange bill, this bird is easily recognizable.

These geese are pretty versatile in their habitats. They can be found foraging in cornfields, winter wheat fields, marshes, and even lakeshores.

Their diet is diverse, consisting of grains, roots, grasses, and aquatic vegetation. Interestingly, they sometimes forage by dabbling in shallow waters, similar to the behavior of mallards.

When they fly, it might be a bit tricky to tell them apart from other geese. But if you listen closely, their unique honking sounds, kind of like yodeling, will give them away.

29. Ashy-headed Goose (Chloephaga poliocephala)

Ashy headed Goose
Origin:South America
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Color:Brown, gray
Length:19.6–23.6 in (50–60 cm)
Weight:3.2–5 lbs (1–2 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

Native to the southernmost parts of South America, the Ashy-headed Goose is one of the more attractive and colorful geese around.

These geese stand out from other birds thanks to their unique combination of a gray head, brown back, chestnut neck, and white flanks with black bars. 

Their legs are uniquely colored as well, being black on the inside and red on the outside.

Ashy-headed Geese like to stay in mountain areas where they make their nests in tall grasses, laying 4 to 6 eggs in a clutch.

Unlike some other geese, they are more terrestrial. They spend a lot of time grazing on land and are rarely seen swimming.

30. Cape Barren Goose (Coreopsis novaehollandiae)

Cape Barren Goose
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:30–39 in (75–100 cm)
Weight:6.6–15.4 lbs (3–7 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 17 years

The Cape Barren Goose is a rare breed found on islands near South Australia and Tasmania. Being herbivores, these geese only eat plant matter. They usually eat tussock grass, which grows naturally on the islands where they live.

What sets these geese apart is their ability to drink salty and even brackish water. This trait allows them to thrive on remote islands year-round.

As the seasons change, so does their behavior. Outside of the breeding season, they are social birds and form small groups. But when it’s time to nest, they become very territorial.

When threatened, these birds will put on a unique display of raising and pumping their wings and neck, which will get faster as the level of aggression rises.

In the 1950s, their numbers had dropped to the point of raising extinction concerns. Fortunately, conservation efforts have increased their numbers, but they are still among the rarest geese in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Geese exploring in a muddy area

What Is the Rarest Breed of Goose in the World?

The rarest breed of goose in the world is the Nēnē, also known as the Hawaiian Goose.

This bird can only be found on the Hawaiian Islands and has faced severe threats to its population due to habitat loss and introduced predators.

Conservation efforts have helped increase their numbers, but the Nēnē remains critically endangered, which makes it an exceptionally rare sight in the wild.

What Is the Most Common Type of Goose?

The Greylag Goose is not only the most common type of goose found across Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but it’s also the ancestor of most domesticated geese.

This widespread goose embodies the stereotypical appearance and behavior that many people associate with geese.

What Is the Quietest Breed of Goose?

There isn’t exactly the quietest breed of goose, but some definitely stand out for being more laid-back. Sebastopol and Pilgrim Geese are among the calmer breeds.

They don’t make a lot of noise and are pretty easygoing, which makes them a good choice for a peaceful backyard. So, if you’re looking for geese that are on the quieter side, you might want to consider these breeds.

So, have you had any interesting encounters with these birds? Feel free to share your experiences or thoughts about the different types of geese in the comments below.

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