Greylag Goose

Anser anser

  1. Wildlife
  2. Birds
  3. Waterfowl
  4. Greylag Goose


Our commonest native goose, the Greylag Goose can be very territorial while nesting, chasing other geese and large birds away from its nesting site. Greylag Geese become sociable again once the chicks have hatched, with several families of goslings sometimes grouping together. Greylag Geese have short bills and prefer to graze pasture and meadows where cattle or sheep are grazing. They will also take grain, root crops and leafy vegetation.

How to identify

A big, pale grey goose with pink legs and an orange bill, the Greylag Goose is distinctive.

Where to find it

Wild birds nest in Scotland, while others come from Iceland to spend the winter. Feral birds nest throughout the country on park lakes and gravel pits.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The survival of our waterbirds is threatened by the loss and degradation of many of our wetland habitats. The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Greylag Goose
Latin name
Anser anser
Length: 76-89cm Wingspan: 1.6m Weight: 3-4kg Average Lifespan: 8 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.