Emperor Goose

The Emperor Goose (Anser canagicus) is a species of goose that breeds around the Bering Sea, mostly in Alaska, USA, but also in Kamchatka, Russia. It is migratory, wintering mainly in the Aleutian Islands.

The American ornithologist, David Sibley, places this species and the other North American “white” geese in the genus Chen, rather than the more traditional “grey” goose genus Anser. The Emperor Goose is then classed as Chen canagica.

This goose has a stout grey body, with fine barring, and a white head and hindneck, often stained orange from iron-rich waters. Unlike the blue morph Snow Goose, the white does not extend onto the front of the neck. The sexes are similar, but non-adults have the head the same color as the body.

This species is much less gregarious than most geese, usually occurring in family groups. It breeds on coastal tundra, laying 3-7 eggs in a ground nest.

Breeding birds molt near the breeding colonies, but non-breeders move to St Lawrence Island to molt prior to the main migration to the rocky coastlines of the wintering grounds.

The food of this goose is typically composed of shoreline grasses and other coastal plants.