Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus)


French: Oie à tête barrée German: Streifengans Spanish: Ánsar indio

Anas indica


, 1790,

India in winter, and Tibet


Sometimes placed in monospecific genus Eulabeia. Has hybridized in the wild (presumably feral individuals) with Branta leucopsis, A. anser and A. cygnoid#R; in captivity also with Tadorna tadornoides. Monotypic.


High altitudes in C Asia, mainly Mongolia and China. Winters from Pakistan to Myanmar.

Introduced to Netherlands#R and some other European countries.

Descriptive notes

71–76 cm; 2000–3000 g; wingspan 140–160 cm. Unmistakable A close-up of an adult. Very pale grey with white face, dark hindneck and lower flanks, white... read more


Cackling notes considered rather human-like, whereas in flight gives slow, deliberate honking... read more


Breeds on variety of wetlands in highland plateaux, generally at 4000–5300 m, preferably near... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly vegetarian; grasses, roots, stems and green parts of plants and sedges; in winter also grain, tubers and other vegetables, and... read more


Starts late May/Jun, with egg-laying commencing in second week of May in Ladakh or early to mid May in Tien Shan, with fledging there... read more


Majority of birds migratory, flying southwards to winter in N India and adjacent countries, but... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Previously considered Near Threatened. World population estimated at 32,300–36,400 individuals in late 1990s, of which 13,000... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus). 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 16 December 2019).