Ross’s Goose

photo by Phil Swanson

Chen rossi
L 23″ (58 cm). Sexes similar.

Song or calls:
Similar to high-pitched bark of a small dog; similar to that of Snow Goose, but higher. 

Description: Two distinct color phases, “white” and “blue”. White-phase adult all white with black wing tips; stubby, pink bill, lacking black “grin patch”. Immature white-phase may have grayish wash on head, back, and flanks. Extremely rare blue-phase has mostly white head and belly, brown back; black primaries and secondaries, wing coverts bluish-gray.

Ross's Goose
Habitat: Marshes, sloughs, riverbottom meadows and croplands. Lakes or reservoirs near croplands are also used.

Where in Nebraska: Fairly common regular spring migrant across the state. An uncommon regular fall migrant in central and eastern Nebraska, and a rare casual fall migrant in the west.

Field Notes: Small flocks of Ross’s Geese often associated with Snow Geese.

Fun Facts: North America’s smallest goose

Ross's Goose blue morph - photo by Phil Swanson Ross's Goose - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)