Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Robert T. Maytum
Photo Courtesy of Robert T. Maytum

Ross's goose, Chen rossii, breeds in arctic areas of Canada and Alaska, and migrates south to winter in California, the southwestern United States, and northern Mexico. Ross's goose is a spring and fall migrant through Utah, where it can be found in marshes, fields, and grassy areas.

Nesting occurs in arctic tundra areas during the late spring; the nest is a depression scratched in the ground and lined with mosses, grasses, and other plant materials. After the female builds the nest, she lays two to six eggs, which she then incubates for about three weeks. The nestlings are able to leave the nest immediately, but they stay with their parents until the following spring. Ross's goose feeds on grasses, grains, and insects.


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

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.