Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Ruddy-headed Goose (Chloephaga rubidiceps)


French: Ouette à tête rousse German: Rotkopfgans Spanish: Cauquén colorado

Chloëphaga rubidiceps

P. L. Sclater

, 1861,

Falkland Islands




Extreme S South America in E Magallanes (Chile), N Tierra del Fuego and S Santa Cruz (Argentina), also Falkland Is; formerly more widespread. Winters N to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Descriptive notes

45–52·5 cm; male 1650–2020 g, female 1200–1500 g. Distinctive goose with red-brown head and neck, fading to grey-brown during inter-moult period,... read more


Sexually dimophic like other Chloephaga geese: male gives short, whistled “seep” and... read more


Open country, frequenting coastal grassland, meadows and pampas wetlands, around ponds, in... read more

Food and feeding

Almost entirely vegetarian; roots, leaves, stems and seed heads of grasses and sedges. In summer, primarily feeds on Poa annua,... read more


Starts Sept–Nov in Falkland Is, with peak laying in mid Oct on continent. In single pairs or loose groups; nest lined with down, on... read more


Falkland Is population virtually sedentary, although has been recorded moving up to 90 km (more... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population of mainland S America in critical state: has decreased dramatically and may now number fewer than 1000 birds, with the... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Ruddy-headed Goose (Chloephaga rubidiceps). 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 11 December 2019).