Snow Goose By Hannah Laws
Classification • Kingdom: Animalia • Phylum: Chordata • Class: Aves • Order: Anserformes • Family: Anatidae • Genus: Chen • Species: Chen caerulescens or Anser caerulescens
Anatomy/Appearance • The snow goose found in many colors such as white, brown, black, gray and blue. It is 25-30 inches and has a large wingspan: 53-65 inches! (The picture below is a comparison of what a snow goose is compared to a human!)
Locomotion • The locomotion for a snow goose is flying, walking and swimming. Swimming is important because that is where they get most of their food.Walking and flying is important so they may escape their predators.
Diet • What a snow goose eats is all plants because a snow goose is a herbivore, but it mostly lives on aquatic plants and grains.
Habitat and Range • In the winter, they live in southern wet grasslands, coastal marshes, bays and fields. • However, in the summer, they live in the artic tundra.
Adaptations • A snow goose flies very high so predators don’t get them and their young. Also, it has special black tips of its wings so that it is strong for migration.
Life Cycle/Reproduction • A female snow goose can lay 3-7 creamy white eggs in 1 clutch. The eggs take 23-25 days in incubation. The eggs need warmth to be able to live, but if they don’t have warmth, they do not hatch. • A baby snow goose is called a gosling and groups of goslings are called a brood.
Behavior • A snow goose migrates south for the winter. In the summer, they migrate north to breed.
Defense/Offense • For a snow goose’s defense, all of the male snow geese join together and drive the predator away from their eggs and the females. It is almost impossible for a predator to get past them!
Enemies • A snow goose’s enemies are artic foxes, hawks and eagles. A snow goose must be very watchful wherever they are.
Species Survival Status • There are many snow geese left in the world. In the 1900’s, the snow geese were becoming endangered because many people were shooting them. But there became a law that you may not shoot them and their populations raised in a very short time. Today, they are one of the most abundant species of birds with populations in millions.
Something Special • A snow goose has thickened edges of its bill. They are perfect for cutting up and digging out plant roots and tubers.
Extra • A snow goose’s nest material is lined up with grasses and down. • A snow goose has a lifespan up to 17 years. • Also, a snow goose doesn’t breed until they are three or four years old. • A group of snow geese is called a flock.
Extra Lesser Snow Goose The Lesser Snow Geese go through stages of being different colors depending on the right camouflage of the right time of year.
Extra The Greater Snow Goose The Greater Snow Goose has a bigger and longer beak than the Lesser Snow Goose and it usually stays close to the same color its whole life.