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White-fronted goose – all about the inhabitant of the tundra

white-fronted goose or goose The white-fronted goose or goose is a migratory bird, a vivid representative of the wild fauna. It got its unusual name due to its noticeable color and large snow-white spots on the forehead and belly. The white-fronted goose is not bred in subsidiary plots, but is highly valued by hunters due to its wide distribution, large numbers and lack of conservation status. Poultry meat has a pleasant, delicate taste and is considered a delicacy among game.

White-fronted goose – description and characteristics of the bird

hunting bird white-fronted goose White-fronted geese are common hunting birds from the Duck family. Outwardly, they are almost impossible to distinguish from gray geese, except for the more miniature size of the body..

Main features of the white-fronted goose:

  1. The upper half of the bird’s body is covered with brown-gray plumage, the lower half is silvery-gray, in the region of the undertail there are snow-white feathers.
  2. After reaching 3-4 years of age, black specks appear on the upper half of the chest and belly of the goose, located transversely. These spots grow in size with age..
  3. In birds older than 2 years, a speck of white shade 2-3 cm in size appears on the forehead.In younger birds, it is absent, which makes it difficult to distinguish them from gray geese.
  4. The beak is 4-6 cm long.It is gray in young geese, in adults it is beige with pink splashes.
  5. The paws of young birds are orange-yellow in color, with age they become more red.
  6. The wings are well developed, their span reaches 130-150 cm.

The average size of a white-fronted goose is up to 70-95 cm, depending on gender. The geese are usually smaller. The mass of an elongated and compact bird body does not exceed 2-3 kg.

Habitat

white-fronted goose in the wildThe White-fronted Goose is distinguished by an extremely wide habitat, which determined its abundance. Among the main regions where the white-fronted goose lives are tundra, forest-tundra, arctic territories.goose on the pond

Wild bird is often found in the northern countries – Greenland, Yamal, Taimyr, North America. European representatives of the species winter in the southern regions – on the coast of the Mediterranean, Caspian or Black Sea.

young white-fronted geeseSome geese migrate for the winter to South or Southeast Asia. When choosing a place for wintering, birds are not guided solely by the presence of a reservoir nearby. It is used by them only for watering and searching for food in the coastal zone..

preparation for the flightBefore leaving for the winter, the birds undergo a special “training”. They gather in flocks and actively prepare for a long-distance flight for 1.5-2 months. This helps young chicks to develop physical endurance and get strong enough for a long flight. Depending on the region, white-fronted geese migrate to winter in mid or late November. Since August, they begin to eat heavily in order to gain weight and endure a difficult flight well..

Expectancy and lifestyle

goose on landThe white-fronted goose prefers to lead a land-based lifestyle, going to water bodies only for watering. But they are also excellent swimmers and divers. Birds spend most of their time on the shore in search of food – worms, molluscs, small insects and coastal vegetation.

How long a goose lives depends on the conditions of its habitat. In the wild, the life span of a bird is 18-20 years, with home keeping this period increases to 28-30 years. The number of white-fronted geese significantly exceeds the indicators of other wild birds, therefore they do not have a conservation status and are a permitted hunting object.feeding geese

Most of the diet of white-fronted geese is plant food – coastal grasses and algae, horsetails, cereals and berries. Birds also eat small insects, earthworms and small molluscs, which they manage to find near a river or lake..

White-fronted goose nesting

nesting white-fronted geeseNesting of the white-fronted goose begins in May or the first half of June. It was at this time that the snow cover completely melts in the tundra. For this, the flocks are divided into pairs and form nests at a considerable distance from each other..

Interestingly, geese form permanent pairs even before they reach puberty, at about 2 years old. If the birds do not “plan” to hatch chicks or do not yet have a permanent pair, they arrive at the nesting place of the flock much later..

Features of nesting of white-fronted geese:

  1. Geese arrange nests near berry bushes, on stones or among bumps. Many females build nests near birds of prey to help them protect their eggs from predators..
  2. For nesting, they make special “bedding” from a mixture of their own fluff with fresh grass.goose on eggs
  3. One clutch usually contains no more than 4-7 eggs. They have a snow-white shell, which acquires a darker shade as they hatch..
  4. If the female needs to fly out of the nest, she covers the eggs with a downy “bedding”.
  5. Females of white-fronted geese incubate eggs for 27-28 days, after which chicks hatch. The entire hatching process can take up to 48 hours..
  6. While the goose incubates eggs, the male is near the nest, guarding it. In case of impending danger, the birds come out in front of the nest and try to scare off the enemy with wide spread wings..a pair of white-fronted geese

Both parents carefully take care of the chicks for 7-8 weeks, sharing the responsibilities of foraging equally.parental care for chicks

After a short time, the goslings begin to independently go in search of food, but they always remain under the supervision of their parents who are nearby. Before the winter flight, it is the parents who train the chicks, preparing them for the laborious journey..

The white-fronted goose is one of the most beautiful and widespread wild birds that live only in natural nature. It is distinguished by a high number and a wide habitat in many northern regions of the world, which made the white-fronted goose a valuable and desirable trophy for any hunter..

White-fronted goose. Photo hunting in the Arctic. (video)

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