Goose (plural geese) is the general English name for a considerable number of birds, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes the swans, which are mostly larger than geese, and the ducks, which are smaller. more...
This article deals with the true geese in the subfamily Anserinae. A number of other waterbirds, mainly related to the shelducks, have "goose" as part of their name.
True geese are medium to large birds, always (with the exception of the Néné) associated to a greater or lesser extent with water. Most species in Europe, Asia and North America are strongly migratory as wild birds, breeding in the far north and wintering much further south. However, escapes and introductions have led to resident feral populations of several species.
Geese have been domesticated for centuries. In the West, farmyard geese are descended from the Greylag, but in Asia the swan goose has been farmed for at least as long.
All geese eat an exclusively vegetarian diet, and some can become pests when flocks feed on arable crops.
Geese tend to lay a smaller number of eggs than ducks. However, both parents protect the nest and young, which usually results in a higher survival rate for the young geese, known as goslings.
A group of geese on the ground is called a gaggle. When flying, a group of geese is known as a wedge or a skein. See List of collective nouns for birds
The following are the true goose species.
Genus Anser Brisson 1760, Grey Geese
- Greylag Goose Anser anser
- White-fronted Goose A. albifrons
- Lesser White-fronted Goose A. erythropus
- Bean Goose A. fabalis
- Pink-footed Goose A. brachyrhynchus
- Bar-headed Goose A. indicus
- Swan Goose, A. cygnoides
Genus Chen Boie 1822 or Anser (depending on authority cited), White Geese
- Snow Goose Chen caerulescens or Anser caerulescens
- Ross's Goose, C. rossii or A. rossii
- Emperor Goose, C. canagica or A. canagicus
Genus Branta Scopoli 1769, Black Geese
- Brent Goose Branta bernicla
- Barnacle Goose B. leucopsis
- Canada Goose B. canadensis
- Cackling Goose B. hutchinsii
- Red-breasted Goose B. ruficollis
- Hawaiian Goose or Nēnē, B. sandvicensis
- Nēnē-nui or Woods-walking Goose, B. hylobadistes Conservation status: Prehistoric
- Cape Barren Goose, Cereopsis novaehollandiae
Genus Cnemiornis, New Zealand Geese Conservation status: Prehistoric
Read more at Wikipedia.org