Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Photo Copyright Lynn Chamberlain

The snow goose, Chen caerulescens, is a migrating bird that spends its summers in Canada and its winters in the southern United States and Mexico. During migrations between winter and summer habitat, many snow geese pass through Utah, congregating in such areas as Gunnison Bend Reservoir in Millard County.

The snow goose eats grains, grasses, and aquatic plants. Female snow geese lay an average of five eggs in June, and those eggs hatch in about three weeks. Young snow geese can fly at about seven weeks of age.

Snow goose populations in North America are doing extremely well, and they continue to expand. The recent increase in snow goose numbers has lead to severe crop and habitat damage in areas of North America, and has negatively impacted other species that nest in close proximity to snow geese.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.