White Geese (Chen) Identification


White Geese belong to the Chen genus and include about three species including the Emperor Goose, Ross's Goose, and Snow Goose. These geese are sometimes grouped under the Anser family of Grey Geese.

These three geese all have reddish beaks and legs, black wing-tips, and a white head with no markings. The Snow Goose has two distinct colour morphs which is either white (snows) or grey-blue (blues).

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Black Geese (Branta)| Grey Geese (Anser)| White Geese (Chen)| All types of Geese | British Geese.

Click to enlarge Emperor Goose
(Chen Canagicus)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Ross's Goose
(Chen Rossii)
Photo: Nigel Key
Click to enlarge Snow Goose
(Chen Caerulescens)
Photo: Dave Key

Emperor Goose: The Emperor Goose has a white head and neck, black chin and throat, short beak which is pink on top, black below, and bluish around the nostrils with white tip, the stout body is bluish-grey which is subtly barred, and the tail is white. Legs and feet are an orange-yellow colour. Both sexes are alike.
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Ross's Goose: The tiny Ross's Goose has a white plumage with black wing-tips, a short reddish-pink beak with pale tip, the base of the beak has a greenish-grey warty area on the male, and legs and feet are reddish-pink. Both sexes are similar. The Ross's Goose has a similar plumage to the Snow Goose (in white phase) but is a much smaller bird with a smaller beak, and a smaller and more rounded head.
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Snow Goose: The Snow Goose or Blue Goose, as it is also called, has two distinct colour morphs which is either white (snows) or grey-blue (blues). The white-morph geese are all-white with black wing-tips, while the blue-morph geese have a bluish-grey plumage with a white head, neck and tail tip. Both geese have a pink beak, and reddish-pink legs and feet.
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