Emperor Geese

Emperor Geese (Anser or Chen canagica) were traditionally considered to be part of the “grey” goose genus Anser. However, the American Ornithologists’ Union places this species in the “white” goose genus Chen.

Distribution / Range

Emperior Geese breed around the Bering Sea, mostly in Alaska, United States, but also in Kamchatka, Russia.

These migratory geese usually winter in the Aleutian Islands in the Northern Pacific Ocean westward from the Alaska Peninsula.

They are usually seen in family groups.

Further Goose Information


Emperor Geese have a mostly grey plumage, with fine black and white barrings. The head and hindneck are white, but often stained orange from iron-rich waters.

Males and females look alike, but the immature’s head is the same color as its body.

Similar Species

Resembles the blue-morph (genetic mutation) Snow Goose, but the white does not extend onto the front of the neck.

Female Emperor Goose (Anser canagicus) on nest.
Emperor Geese at Adak Island Clam Lagoon

Emperor Goose (Chen canagica)

Diet / FeedingEmperor Geese typically feed on shoreline grasses and other coastal plants.

Geese consume a wide variety of plant material, including on grass, roots, shoots, leaves, stems, seedheads and fruits of other herbaceous marsh vegetation, aquatic plants, and agricultural grain and potatoes (particularly in the winter)


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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