The direct ancestor of the domestic goose, it is has a bright white rear, brownish-grey plumage, pink legs and feet, and a large pink or orange bill. It also has a black-speckled underside.The juvenile is similar to the adults, except it lacks the black-speckled underside.
It feeds on grass and cereal shoots, and roots. A ground nest is often constructed on an island. The female lays 4 to 6 eggs in 1 brood from May to June. Inhabits wetlands and marshes. They can live for up to 15 years.
Seen all year round on lake margins, damp grasslands, and farmland. The numbers have declined of this breeding bird, and they have moved north to breed wild in the Outer Hebrides and Northern mainland Scotland. However, some are beginning to re-colonise much of England in a variety of wetland areas, and are common and widespread.
Photographs of Greylag Goose (Anser anser), taken July 2010, local pond, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2010. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.