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Snow Geese General Information

Snow Geese are among the many species of migratory birds making their annual journey to Alaska.

In the spring, they have a white plumage with black tipped wings. Their bill and legs are pink. Males and females are similar in appearance, with the male being slightly larger.

Snow Geese have a wingspan of approximately 3 feet.

Large Flock of Snow Geese

  Common Name:
  Scientific Name:
  Snow Goose
  Chen caerulescens
  Breeding Range:
  Winter Range:
  Alaska & Arctic Coastal Regions
  Lower 48, Gulf Regions
  60 to 80 cm (Adult)
  2 to 3 kg (Adult)

At the peak of the migration period, thousands of Snow Geese darken the skies in Alaska. They take a rest stop in the farmland of the Matanuska valley.

Snow Goose Migration

Snow Geese migrate every year from their winter grounds in the lower 48 states to the Arctic and Subarctic coastal regions of North America.

By April-May, the Spring migration is well under way. During that period, large flocks of Snow Geese can be seen in south central Alaska, on their journey to their breeding grounds.

Snow Goose Up Close

During their Spring migration, Snow Geese can cover 2000 to 3000 miles.

Thousands of Snow Geese take off at the same time, in a loud sky ballet.

Snow Goose Reproduction

Snow Geese are known to pair up with a single mate, maintaining their bond for life. They start nesting in late May, racing against the short Alaskan summers to raise their chicks.

Snow Geese taking a rest

The female Snow Goose usually lays 3 to 5 eggs which are incubated for 3 to 4 weeks.

Snow Goose Population

Although the Snow Goose population was only a few thousand in the early 1900's, it has enjoyed a strong and steady recovery, with numbers now reaching 5 to 7 million worldwide. They are among the most abundant waterfowl.

Some Biologists are concerned that the abundance of Snow Geese is posing a threat to the sustainability of the ecosystem.

Snow Geese in Flight

In flight, Snow Geese reach speeds of roughly 40 miles per hour. During their migration, they maintain altitudes between 7000 and 9000 feet.

Snow Geese in Alaska

In Alaska, Snow Geese can be seen in the Matanuska Valley.

Snow Goose in Flight

With a plumage that is almost entirely white except for the black tipped wings, the large flocks of Snow Geese make an unmistakable impression as they descend from the sky.

Snow Goose Flock

Snow Geese enjoy a rest near a pond in the rich farmland of the valley.

Snow Geese in the Sky

Snow Geese in the sky, flying against a mountain backdrop.

Snow Geese in the Sky

As the Snow Geese fly in large formations, they make a continuous symphony of calls.

Snow Goose

Snow Geese seen during their migration north to Alaska.

Snow Geese Landing

Along their migratory journey, Snow Geese will often stop to take a rest and feed.


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