Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Ross's Goose (Anser rossii)


French: Oie de Ross German: Zwergschneegans Spanish: Ánsar de Ross

Anser Rossii


, 1861,

Great Slave Lake, Canada


Sometimes placed together with A. caerulescens in genus Chen, with or without A. canagicus. Has hybridized in the wild with Branta leucopsis#R and A. caerulescens#R. Monotypic.


Arctic Canada in Queen Maud Gulf, Baffin I, Southampton I and W coast of Hudson Bay; rare on Banks I and in Alaska. Winters in S USA (California E to Louisiana) and N Mexico.

Descriptive notes

53–66 cm; male 1224–1880 g, female 1270–1660 g. Female averages smaller (e.g. wing 360–395 mm, vs. wing of male 370–400 mm) with shorter neck,... read more


Sad, murmuring “mmmmm” or “uuuhhhh” serves in contact and is similar to lowing cow, whereas loud... read more


Breeds primarily on predator-free rocky or scrubby and grassy islands in large lakes of Arctic... read more

Food and feeding

Essentially vegetarian; roots, leaves, stems and green parts of aquatic plants and sedges; also spilt or unharvested grain (barley, rice)... read more


Starts late May/Jun, immediately upon arrival on breeding grounds, but can be delayed due to climatic conditions. Generally considered to... read more


Migratory, main wintering area in California (Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys), but also in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Dramatic increase in recent decades, although still legally hunted in places (and sometimes accidentally shot, being mistaken for... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Ross's Goose (Anser rossii). 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 12 December 2019).