Ross' Goose

Ross Goose
Barnacle-looking caruncles on Ross’ Goose bills most prominent on older adult males, nearly lacking on females and juvenile makes.

Ross’s Goose (Chen rossi) are easily distinguished from their larger snow goose cousins by their smaller, somewhat stockier stature, short necks, lack of a grinning patch. Barnacle-looking caruncles on bills most conspicuous on older adult males, often getting gnarlier with age, but nearly lacking on females and juvenile males. Adult plumage for both sexes is entirely white, apart from the black primary feathers, accompanied by a short orange-pink bill and matching legs. While extremely rare, blue phase Ross’s Geese do occur as with Snow Geese. Even though the young are either yellow or gray, when they mature into adults, they become identical. Juveniles also possess more muted orange on their bills and legs/feet, and plumage appears grayer than adults. This species is not extremely vocal, however during migration will use a high-pitched keekkeek keek call and a lower hawh hawh grunting. I believe they’ll generally decoy better than snow geese.