PINK-FOOTED GOOSE – (Anser brachyrhynchus)
As its English name implies, the Pink-footed Goose is easily identified for its pink legs and feet. The bill is dark grey with a pinkish spot in the middle. It is not as large as the Canada goose, with an average length of some 70 cm (30 in.) long. The plumage is mainly brown on top with beige stripes and borders, and the head is brown. The under parts are beige.
The English name ‘Goose’ would have different origins, such as Dutch and German ‘Gans’, Old Norse ‘Gas’, even Spanish ‘Ganso’. Then this would relate the name to Latin ‘anser’ for ‘goose’. The Latin name ‘brachyrhynchus’ is actually from Greek and means ‘short bill’, and ‘anser’ means ‘goose’.
The pink-footed goose does not breed on PEI. Its breeding range covers mainly Iceland and Greenland. The bird migrates mostly to the UK for the winter, where they forage on farmland. This goose is a herbivore.
Sometimes a vagrant flies west and ends up in eastern Canada. The occurrence of pink-footed goose on the island has been listed as accidental (fall and winter) so far. One such instance (see photo below) was reported on Feb. 10, 2018, at Ellen’s Creek in Charlottetown, where it can be seen hanging out with Canada geese. Another sighting was confirmed in New Glasgow on Dec. 2, 2010.