Grey goose

grey goose
Graugans (Anser anser)
grey goose (Anser more anser)
class: Birds (Aves)
order: Goose birds (Anseriformes)
family: Duck birds (Anatidae)
Unterfamilie: Geese (Anserinae)
tri bus: Genuine geese (Anserini)
kind: Field geese (Anser)
kind: Grey goose
scientific name
Anser more anser
, 1758)

The grey goose, (Anser more anser) is a kind of the kind of field geese (Anser) in the family of the duck birds (Anatidae). Grey geese are the most frequent water birds and form at the same time the second largest kind of goose in Europe. They are beside the swan geese (Anser of cygnoides), to which above all asiatic house geese decrease/go back, the wild ancestors of the domestizierten house geese. The kind was described for the first time 1758 by Carl von Linné in its work Systema naturae.

Table of contents

appearance and call

the grey goose is brighter as the other grey geese. The neck works relatively thickly and by the streifige arrangement of the feathers/springs easily lengthwise. The forward wings are remarkably bright and the belly havemore or less strongly minted black marks. The bill is relatively large and klobig. It reaches a length from 75 to 90 cm, a wingspan of 147 to 180 cm and a weight from 2,5 to 4 kg. Grey geese can up to 17 years oldbecome. Most well-known sound is also the well-known of house geese “ga-ga-ga”, however the grey goose has more than one dozen of different sound expressions.


during the course is to be found the grey goose in completely Europe. It breeds in Great Britain, completely Fennoskandinavien except far ofremoved for areas as well as in completely Continental Europe northeast of the coast a line from you churches to Patras in Greece with emphasis in the Netherlands, Northern Germany, the south coast of the Baltic Sea as well as in an area between Austria, Hungary and Tschechien.

way of life

grey goose colonyat the lip

the grey goose is a migratory bird, which pulls usually in the winter to the south. In the last decades a tendency is to be observed that grey geese continue to winter ever in the north, particularly in the Netherlands or at all into that not too far northconvenient breeding areas and thus condition birds become.

One favours by an intensified agriculture, which also in the winter offers sufficient food on abgeernteten or again in-sown fields, the smaller hunt pressure than possible into south Europe as well as the climatic change. Until few decades ago wintered still nearlyall grey geese in the Marismas of the Guadalquivirs and in Tunesien around the Ischkeul lake, as well as in west Algeria. If they are on their course, they form a characteristic V-formation.

The migration routes of the grey goose are fixed, but in the different partial populations are tradiert not genetically. Besidethe course into the wintering accomodation there is a Mauserzug in such a way specified of the non-breeding animals to certain Mauserplätzen. Since the sixties the Oostvaardersplassen developed to the most important Mauserplatz Europe. Apart from mating and breeding time grey geese in large swarms live. Grey geese pairs of itself alreadyin the autumn of the second calendar year, but breed rarely before reaching the fourth calendar year.

two grey geese

usually show up it a large partner loyalty, pairs of however with loss of the partner again. The brood begins depending upon location in the middle of March to at the end of April. For breeding they build Nests, into which they usually put 4 to 9 eggs, which have a white or yellowish bowl. After approximately 27 to 29 days slip the boys, whose raising lasts about 50 to 60 days. The rockers more mauser the parents animals it lies in such a way that it somethinglater than the young animals become again airworthy, which facilitates the slow learning of difficult flight maneuvers of the young animals, which follow their parents.

Usually the young animals up to the next brood with the parents animals remain together and are also later with these often to be found. Grey geese are able themselves mainly toTo recognize call individually. On large lay-by often prevails the whole night active calling and driving, which serve regaining family members.

The Nobelpreisträger Konrad Lorenz has in its book “is here I - where are you? ”, as he in its preface marks, “thosemost complete treatment of the Ethologie of a higher animal " writes, i.e.: all well-known behaviors of the grey geese described exactly.


as well as live

nutrition of grey geese with Küken of grey geese aquatic plants, mainly on short grasses and herbs, as well as Stauden, and on plants, both Roots, in particular also potatoes and carrots. For nutrition is it important that the areas, in which grey geese look for food bewachsen low are, in order to fulfill so their security needs in addition, because only of short grass and herbs can nourish itself it. Butnatural pasture systems with large herbivores (Megaherbivoren) are ideal.

inventory development

of a Tiefpunkt at the beginning of the 1970er years, when population of about 20,000 animals covered the European entire, has itself the existence over approximately 170,000 animals in the middle of the eighties on today (2003)probably over 250.000 animals increases. It came not only to a closer settling of traditional breeding areas, but also to a clear expansion of the breeding area particularly into Germany and in the Netherlands.


  • Konrad Lorenz: The year of the grey goose. Piper:1982 (New edition 2003: Series of Piper Bd.2637; Text and book of pictures)
  • Konrad Lorenz: Here am I - where you are? Ethologie of the grey goose. Munich/Zurich: Piper, 1988
  • Erich Rutschke: Game geese, way of life - protection - use, Berlin: Parey, 1997
  • H. Kolbe, the duck birds of the world, 5. Aufl., UlmerEugen publishing house (1999) - to ISBN 3800174421

see also

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