Kingdoms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Anseriformes / Anatidae / Anser / Species
< >  Anser fabalis - Bean goose (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
Click on photograph for full-screen view Click on photograph for full-screen view Click on photograph for full-screen view Click on photograph for full-screen view

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

Click image to return to Waterfowl Contents FlowchartCONTENTS
(Waterfowl)

Click image for list of Waterfowl Species

Click image for list of Waterfowl Agents
Click image for list of Waterfowl Diseases
Click image for list of Waterfowl Environmental Events / Factors

Return to top of page

General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Sushkin's Goose
Oie des moissons (French)
Saatgans (German)
Kurzschnabelgans (German)
Genso de las habas (Spanish)
Ánsar Campestre (Spanish)
Rietgans (Dutch)
Sädgås (Swedish)
Anser fabalis fabalis Western bean goose
Anser fabalis johanseni Johansen bean goose
Anser fabalis middendorffi Middendorf bean goose
Anser fabalis rossicus Russian bean goose
Anser fabalis serrirostris Thick-billed bean goose
Bean-goose
Anser segetum

Names for newly-hatched

Gosling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

--

Return to top of page

References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B2, B3, B4, B8, B19, B25, B26.

Other references:
B138

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B95, B108, B128.w1, B129
D1, D8

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

Return to top of page

TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

Return to top of page

Aviculture Information

Notes

General information:
  • Northern (True) Geese are generally hardy and easy to manage. They are usually gregarious and many species may be kept in flocks, however they tend to be territorial and aggressive in the breeding season and some may need to be maintained in separate pens. It is often possible to keep small ducks with pairs of geese, unless the individual goose pair is particularly pugnacious. They should always be provided with adequate water for swimming.
  • For a single pair of geese a total pen area of 300m² (or 200m²  for smaller species, e.g. Branta ruficollis - Red-breasted goose), with at least 20% of this area water is suggested, although more water should be provided if possible in a larger pen (D1).
  • Geese are grazers and should have access to good short grass (less than 3 inches, 7.5cm long) for grazing. When grass is scarce, it may be supplemented with greenfood such as cabbage, lettuce etc.; alfalfa pellets have also been used for this purpose. Additional grain and pellets should be given, with a change to breeder pellets in the breeding season, at which time less or no grain may be fed. Breeding success may be decreased if these species are allowed to become too fat and this can be problematic particularly for the species which normally breed in the high Arctic.
  • Goslings may be parent hatched and reared, although being mainly terrestrial they are more vulnerable to predation than are cygnets. Whether parent or hand-reared, goslings should be provided with unlimited grazing and other green food such as chopped lettuce, as well as starter crumbs.
  • Geese species may hybridise with one another, but this is not usually a problem if they are well paired before being mixed with other birds.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B95, B108, B128.w1, B129, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Bean geese are hardy, suitable for parks, paddocks and other large pens. They may become quite tame but are still liable to join a wild flock passing by if they are full-winged. They should be fed grain and pellets as well as being provided with good grazing.
  • Anser fabalis fabalis western bean goose is easy to breed; the other sub-species are more difficult to breed. Lay in open or close ground cover, normally lay April to May.
  • Hybrids reported with Anser albifrons - Greater white-fronted goose, Anser anser - Greylag goose, Anser brachyrhynchus - Pink-footed goose, Anser caerulescens - Snow goose, Branta leucopsis - Barnacle goose. Sub-species should be kept separate to avoid sub-specific hybrids.

(B29, B30, B97)

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme suggested average closed ring size: T 20.0mm (D8).

Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

Return to top of page

External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 28-35 inches, 71-89cm (B3) 66-89cm (B1)
Adult weight General 3.171-3.948kg (B3, B1)
Male Anser fabalis fabalis mean 7.0 lbs., Anser fabalis rossicus mean 5.9 lbs. (B8)
Female A . f. fabalis mean 6.3 lbs., Anser fabalis rossicus mean 5.2 lbs. (B8)
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

Return to top of page

Head

Adult Bill Male Black and yellow-orange
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Dark brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Black and greyish-yellow.
Eyes (Iris) Dark brown.

Return to top of page

Legs

Adult Male Yellow-orange.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Greyish-yellow.

Return to top of page

Plumage

Adult Male Head and neck chocolate-brown, sometimes white line around bill base. Breast and abdomen light brown, flanks feathers darker with pale edging and white line at top of flank. Ventral area and tail-coverts white. Upperparts dark brown with white feather edges.

Tail grey-brown with broad white tips and edging. Wings brown with whitish edges to wing secondaries and coverts.

Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Duller. White feather edges less distinct, mottled underparts.

Return to top of page

Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Olive-brown dorsal, yellowish ventral.
Bill: Grey.
Feet: Grey.

Return to top of page

Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins May/June.
No. of Clutches --

Return to top of page

Nest placement and structure

In a scrape on the ground, a shallow nest of vegetation, down-lined.

Return to top of page

Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 4-6 (B1).
Range 3-8 (B1); 3-7 (B8).
Egg Description White to pale straw-coloured (B3, B8). Size: Anser fabalis fabalis 84 x 55.5mm (B3).

Return to top of page

Incubation

About 27-29 days (B1); 25-30 days, mean 25 days on tundra, 28-29 days on taiga (B8).

Return to top of page

Hatching

Synchronous.

Return to top of page

Fledging

About 40 days (B1); 45-50 days (B8)

Return to top of page

Sexual Maturity

Males Two to three years old.
Females Two to three years old.

Return to top of page

Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Forages on land.
Newly-hatched --

Return to top of page

Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Loose colonies, nests well dispersed.
Incubation By female, with male defending.
Newly-hatched Tended by both parents.
Juveniles

Remain with parents until next breeding season.

Return to top of page

Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Gregarious.
Inter-specific Family parties may mix with other species of geese in winter.

Return to top of page

Sexual Behaviour

Strong, permanent pair bonds.

Return to top of page

Predation in Wild

--

Return to top of page

Activity Patterns

--
Circadian --

Return to top of page

Natural Diet

Adults

Basically vegetarian: herbs, grasses, sedges, plus berries in summer, grain, beans and potatoes in winter.

Return to top of page

Newly-hatched

Leaves, buds and flowers of arctic vegetation, insects (aquatic and terrestrial), molluscs, crustaceans and fish roe.

Return to top of page

Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Anser fabalis fabalis: Taiga, Scandinavia eastward to Ural mountains.

Anser fabalis johanseni: Taiga and wooded tundra, Ural mountains to Lake Baikal.

Anser fabalis middendorffi: Taiga east of Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia.

Anser fabalis rossicus: Tundra, north Russia and north-west Siberia, Kanin to Taymyr peninsulas.

Anser fabalis serrirostris: Tundra, north-east Siberia from Lena delta to Anadyrland.

Migratory: winters in north-west and central Europe, Iran, China and Japan, on coastal plains. Further south in cold winters.

Occasional and Accidental

Rarely to north Africa.

Introduced

--

Return to top of page

Habitat

In high Arctic or taiga, on lakes, pools, bogs, swamps, wet meadows and sluggish rivers. Marshes and agricultural land in winter.

Return to top of page

Conservation

Intraspecific variation

Anser fabalis fabalis Western bean goose
Anser fabalis johanseni Johansen bean goose
Anser fabalis middendorffi Middendorf's bean goose
Anser fabalis rossicus Russian bean goose
Anser fabalis serrirostris Thick-billed bean goose

Return to top of page

Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Generally widespread and numerous (B1). Middendorf's bean goose Anser fabalis middendorffi and Thick-billed bean goose Anser fabalis serrirostris are considered Vulnerable (B44.9.w1).

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
Threats Habitat loss and hunting threaten the Middendorf's bean goose Anser fabalis middendorffi and Thick-billed bean goose Anser fabalis serrirostris (B44.9.w1).

Return to top of page

Captive Populations

Common in collections, easy to keep and breed (B8, B44.9.w1).

Return to top of page

Trade

--

Return to top of page