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Tundra Bean Goose - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Anser serrirostris)
A. s. serrirostris, adult
Photo by Akiyo
Kagoshima, Japan, February 2004
Anser serrirostris


Length 66–75 cm, weight (A. s. rossicus) 1,970-3,300 g

  • Dark goose with a long neck
  • Head, neck, and back are dark brownish
    • Lightest on the back
  • Underside is lighter
  • Legs bright 'dayglo' orange
  • Bill is short (not much longer than it is high)
    • Birds with more than a small orange spot near the tip of the bill are rare
    • Orange is always sharply defined (mostly more diffusely edged in Taiga Bean Goose)

In flight, tail pattern is conspicuous: narrow white terminal band, broader black band, and the innermost part white. Belly is white. Both upper and lower sides of wings are dark, without much contrast between coverts and primaries/secondaries.
Juvenile forms are more scaly on the back and lack the white at the base of the bill.

Similar species

A. s. rossicus, adult
Photo by IanF
Saltholme, Durham, UK, February 2012

Taiga Bean Goose is very similar in plumage but is larger and has a longer neck, a longer bill and usually more orange on the bill. Pink-footed Goose is very similar in size and structure, but is a paler, more silvery grey on the back, and with pink legs and bill markings; it also has conspicuous silvery grey forewing in flight, and a broader white tip to the tail.


Breeds on the tundra of northern Russia including Siberia.

Winters in eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea) and northern Europe (primarily Hungary, northen Germany, and the Netherlands, with smaller numbers in many other countries); generally further south than Taiga Bean Goose. Abundant in suitable areas, with around 300,000 wintering in northern Europe, including 30,000 in the Netherlands. In Britain, a scarce winter visitor to the east coast from southeast Scotland south to Suffolk, typically as individuals or small groups in flocks of Pink-footed Geese or White-fronted Geese.


A. s. serrirostris, juvenile
Photo by Ayuwat J
Beppu, Oita, Japan, November 2010

Two subspecies are accepted[1]:

  • A. s. serrirostris: tundra zone in eastern Siberia
  • A. s. rossicus: tundra zone in western Siberia and northernmost European Russia

Has long been considered conspecific with Taiga Bean Goose and named Bean Goose Anser fabalis. In the more distant past, Pink-footed Goose was also sometimes included in Bean Goose.


Breeds by arctic tundra pools. Winters in agricultural areas, mostly grassy fields.



In winter, it grazes in crops such as grass, cereals and potatoes.



  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Birdforum thread discussing the taxonomy of the Bean Goose complex.

External Links

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