The Greater White-fronted Goose is a common spring migrant in
South Dakota, and can also be found during the fall migration. They have
adapted well to a human presence and now rely heavily on waste grain and other
agricultural by-products on their wintering grounds.
on both wet coastal areas and drier inland areas on the Arctic tundra. In
migration and in winter, they are generally found in open habitats where they
have easy access to both agricultural fields for feeding and shallow waters for
roosting at night.
Diet: Primarily feeds on grasses, sedges, other plants,
berries, and buds in the summer. Relies heavily on seeds and waste grain
in the winter, as well as new growth. They will also occasionally feed on
snails and aquatic insects.
Behavior: Often forages on land, walking along and
eating food items on the ground. In the water, swims on the surface,
reaching its head and neck under the water for food items.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: High-pitched laughing honk
Migration: Summers on the Arctic tundra. Winters locally in California, Washington,
Oregon, New Mexico, and Arizona, as well as near the U.S. Gulf Coast and
Mexico. They tend to follow established routes and use the same stopover
points each season. They are generally only found west of the Mississippi
Similar Species: Snow
Goose, in particular, the blue-phase of the Snow
Conservation Status: Generally stable, although
numbers can fluctuate. For unknown reasons, populations dropped
sharply in the 1970s, but rebounded in the 1980s. Populations still
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Greater White-fronted Goose
Greater White-fronted Goose
Whatbird.com: Greater White-fronted Goose
Photo Information: March 20th, 2005 -- Western Minnehaha County -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Greater White-fronted