Emperor Goose

Silhouette GeeseGeese

Emperor Goose

Anser canagicus
  • ORDER: Anseriformes
  • FAMILY: Anatidae
Basic Description

The beautiful Emperor Goose is a small, scarce goose of Alaska. It’s intricately patterned in blue-gray and black, set off by a regal white crown and bright-orange legs. Emperor Geese are birds of rocky beaches and brackish wetlands, where they feed on mussels, barnacles, eelgrass, and sea lettuce. Most of the population nests in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, with some nesting in eastern Russia. Their numbers seem to be recovering from a low in the late 20th century, but Emperor Geese remain on the Yellow Watch List.

More ID Info
image of range map for Emperor GooseRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

To be sure of seeing Emperor Geese you’ll need to go to Alaska. Look for them in winter and early spring (April) on Kodiak Island, or visit Nome and explore east of the city, where they gather in large flocks of geese in Safety Sound in May. Gambell, on St. Lawrence Island, is a good place to watch for migrants flying by.

Other Names
  • Ánsar Emperador (Spanish)
  • Oie empereur (French)
  • Cool Facts