Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Ashy-headed Goose (Chloephaga poliocephala)


French: Ouette à tête grise German: Graukopfgans Spanish: Cauquén cabecigrís

Chloëphaga poliocephala

P. L. Sclater

, 1857,

Chiloé Island, Chile




S Chile and S Argentina, from 37° S to Tierra del Fuego; has bred in Falkland Is. In winter moves N to C Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Descriptive notes

50–60 cm; male 1620–2267 g, female 1470–1490 g. Unmistakable, as grey head, ruddy breast, finely barred flanks and white belly separate this species from... read more


Vocalizations are sexually dimorphic as in other Chloephaga: male utters soft, wigeon-like... read more


Favours damp, southern beech (Nothofagus) forest clearings on high ground and islands,... read more

Food and feeding

Presumably mainly vegetarian; leaves, stems and seed heads of grasses and sedges, but only detailed information is from wintering grounds... read more


Starts Oct/Nov; overall season Nov–Mar in Tierra del Fuego. In single pairs or loose groups; nest abundantly lined with down, and... read more


Partially migratory, moving N to winter in pampas region to Buenos Aires province,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population unknown, but has been estimated at 25,000–100,000 individuals, although recent austral winter surveys (2011... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Ashy-headed Goose (Chloephaga poliocephala). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).