A Snow Goose is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Snow Geese. We have also put together a list of fun Snow Goose t-shirts, Snow Goose bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Snow Geese
These geese are much localized and appear in large numbers in places where they are found. The Snow Geese can cover the ground and form a snow-like blanket. They can be found in large flocks or not at all. You can spot them in the air during migration or wintering in water bodies and open fields across the United States. Some of their distinctive features include:
Description and Identification
Snow Geese are beautiful birds that have two color plumage morphs. Their plumage is either
completely white or blue with portions of white. Snow Geese with white plumage are called snows.
Except having black wingtips, white Snow Geese are completely white. On the other hand, blue
Snow Geese are entirely bluish-gray except for the white tail-tips, necks, and heads. The blue and
white variations of these birds often interbreed and their offsprings might be born with the plumage
of either morph. Earlier these two variations were considered different species but due to their
interbreeding and range overlap, they have now considered two colors of the same species. Genes
dictate the color of these birds. Male Snow Geese are generally larger than females, and size
variations can also be noticed if different geographical ranges of these birds are noticed. The larger
the size variation of these birds; the greater the snow goose resides in the colder part of their range, and
the smaller variation; the lesser the snow goose resides in the warmer portion of their range. Greater
Snow Geese can weigh as much as 7.1 pounds, whereas the lesser Snow Geese weigh between
Snow Goose Color Pattern
These geese are primarily white with black wingtips which are more visible during a flight than when on the ground. They have a pink bill that has a black line which is commonly referred to as black lips. Their blue phase counterparts have a white neck and head and blue-gray upper parts. They all have pink legs and bills.
Snow Goose Size
These medium-sized geese have a long thick neck and a hefty bill. Juveniles in their flocks are usually smaller than adults. Adults can be goosed sized or slightly larger.
The relative size of both sexes
- Length range: 27.2-32.7 in (69-83 cm)
- Weight: 56.4-116.4 oz (1600-3300 g)
- Wingspan range: 54.3 in (138 cm)
Snow Goose Behavior
They often travel in large groups of up to ten thousand members. They forage by walking on land or in shallow waters. During feeding, they mix with other types of geese. Partners mate for life and nest in colonies.
Snow Goose Food
Snow Geese are omnivores that mostly eat plant matter. Sedges, grasses, roots, and leaves make
up a majority of their diet. The strong bills of these birds allow them to easily dig up roots from thick
mud. During summer and spring, Snow Geese mostly rely on American bulrushes for nutrition.
Other aquatic vegetation such as wild rice, ryegrass, rush, cordgrass, cattail, and feather grass
becomes an important part of their diet as they migrate southwards during winter. Shell fragments
and sand are an indispensable part of their diet as grit like this helps them indigestion. In
extremely rare circumstances, Snow Geese also eat invertebrates.
Their diet is mostly made up of plant materials. They feed heavily on leaves, seeds, and roots of plants such as wild grasses, sedges, and horsetail among others. The young are fed on insects, during winter they feed on berries, and during migration feed on waste grains.
Snow Goose Habitat
Snow Geese are known to breed in flocks in regions with low grassy tundra that are in close
proximity to the coast, or rivers, or flood plains. These birds prefer to inhabit coastal lagoons,
tidal flats, and marshes, but they are also known to inhabit agricultural lands and prairies.
Snow Geese are common on agricultural grounds. They frequent wetlands and plowed fields during winter and when migrating. They can also be seen in ponds, lakes, and marshes as why they bath. Arctic tundra is their breeding site.
Range and Migration
Snow Geese are birds that are widespread throughout North America. These birds have a very
wide geographical range. The breeding grounds for Snow Geese are located in Canada,
Greenland, Siberia, and Alaska. During winters, these geese migrate southwards to warmer parts
of North America. Their winter range extends from British Columbia to Mexico going through the
The United States. Since the 20th century, these birds have experienced a population explosion.
Rarely, these birds are found as vagrants in Europe.
Snow Goose Lifecycle
The females lay 3-5 eggs and incubate them for 22-23 days and hatchlings usually leave the nest a few hours after hatching. Although tended to by both parents, they feed themselves. They are able to fly after 42-50 days. they can live for more than 15 years in the wild.
Snow Goose Nesting
Snow Geese are monogamous birds that mate on their journey back to their breeding grounds.
These birds nest in colonies in the month of June. Snow Geese begin the nest-building process 10
days after they locate a suitable nesting site. Their nests are shallow depressions in the ground
that are lined with down and dry vegetation. Females lay up to 3-5 eggs per season which are
incubated for 23-25 days.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Snow Geese
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Snow Geese are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Snow Goose T-shirts
If you love the Snow Goose you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Snow Goose Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Snow Goose is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Snow Goose Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Snow Goose. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Snow Geese
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Snow Geese
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.