Snow Goose

photo by Phil Swanson

Chen caerulescens
L 28″ (71 cm).

Song or calls:
Shrill, yelping “uk-uk” or “ark-ark.”

Description: Sexes similar. Two distinct color phases, “white” and “blue”. White-phase adult white with black wing tips; bill pink with black grin patch; pink feet. Immature white-phase pale sooty-gray above, whiter below; dark bill and feet. Blue-phase adult has dark gray body, white head and neck; belly has variable amount of white; wings gray, with black tips. Immature blue-phase brownish-gray overall, with some white on chin; bill and feet dark.

snow goose
Habitat: Marshes, sloughs, riverbottom meadows and croplands. Lakes and reservoirs are also used.

Where in Nebraska: Abundant migrant statewide, less common westwardly; no breeding records in Nebraska.

Fun Facts: During migration often flies so high they can barely be seen.

Snow Goose blue morph - photo by Phil Swanson Snow Goose - photo by Phil Swanson (click image for larger view)