- ORDER: Anseriformes
- FAMILY: Anatidae
Graylag Geese are one of the most common and conspicuous species of geese across much of Europe. Wild Graylag Geese are very rare in North America, but domestic geese (which are descended from Graylag) are common sights in farms and parks. In the wild, these big, loud, orange-billed geese nest in wetlands and lakes. They graze for food in grasslands and agricultural areas and form large flocks outside of the breeding season.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Look and listen for loud, large Graylag Geese in wetlands and open country, sometimes in very large flocks. In winter, most of the European population occurs in the Atlantic flyway stretching from Denmark to Spain. Wild Graylag Geese are very rare in North America, but you're likely to see domestic geese descended from Graylags in parks and farms. They can vary considerably in appearance, and if you report them to eBird, record them as "Graylag Goose (Domestic Type)."
- Ánsar Común (Spanish)
- Oie cendrée (French)
- Cool Facts
This is the classic goose of farmyards and nursery rhymes—in fact its scientific name, Anser anser, translates as "Goose goose."
Many domestic geese are derived from wild Graylag Geese. This includes domestic Graylag Geese found in the United States in parks, barnyards, and other human settings.
Graylag Goose is one of six species of “gray geese” found in Europe. (The others are Greater White-fronted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Tundra Bean-Goose, Taiga Bean-Goose, and Pink-footed Goose.) Graylag is the only one of these species found in large numbers in Europe during the summer.
Graylag Geese in Sweden sometimes nest in abandoned Osprey nests, both in trees and on nesting platforms. In one case, a pair of Graylags successfully defended a nest from an Osprey pair in a days-long fight.