Ross's goose

Ross's goose
Juvenile Ross's goose in California, USA
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anserinae
Tribe: Anserini
Genus: Chen
Species: C. rossii
Binomial name
Chen rossii
(Cassin, 1861)

Anser rossii

Ross's goose swimming

The Ross's goose (Chen rossii or Anser rossii) is a North American species of goose.

The American Ornithologists' Union places this species and the other two "white" geese in the genus Chen rather than the more traditional "grey" goose genus Anser.

This goose breeds in northern Canada, mainly in the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary,[2] and winters much further south in the continent in the southern United States and occasionally northern Mexico.

The plumage of this species is white except for black wing tips. It is similar in appearance to a white-phase snow goose but approximately 40% smaller. Other differences from the snow goose are that the bill is smaller in proportion to its body and lacks "black lips". The dark phase is extremely rare.

The Ross's goose is a rare vagrant to Western Europe, but it is commonly kept in wildfowl collections and so the true frequency of wild birds is hard to ascertain. Escaped or feral specimens are encountered frequently, usually in the company of other feral geese such as Canada goose, greylag goose and barnacle goose. However, individuals or small groups that seemed to be of natural origin have turned up in the Netherlands and Britain.

This species is named in honor of Bernard R. Ross, a Hudson's Bay Company factor at Fort Resolution in Canada's Northwest Territories.[3]


  1. BirdLife International (2012). "Chen rossii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. Queen Maud Gulf
  3. "The Scabby-Nosed Wavey". December 16, 1940. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
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