It is a medium-sized goose, 60-75 cm (24-30 in) long, the wingspan 135-170 (53-67 in) cm, and weighing 1.8-3.4 kg. It has a short bill, bright pink in the middle with a black base and tip, and pink feet. The body is mid grey-brown, the head and neck a richer, darker brown, the rump and vent white, and the tail grey with a broad white tip. The upper wing-coverts are of a somewhat similar pale bluish-grey as in the Greylag Goose, and the flight feathers blackish-grey.
Habitat and Distribution
The Pink-footed Goose breeds in eastern Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. It is migratory, wintering in northwest Europe, especially Great Britain, the Netherlands, and western Denmark.
The diet is almost entirely vegetarian. In summer, they feed on a wide range of tundra plants, both on land and in water. In winter, they graze primarily on oilseed rape, sugar beet, potato, and various grasses.
Nesting is often on cliffs close to glaciers to provide protection from mammalian predators (mainly Arctic Fox), also on islets in lakes. Three to six eggs are laid in early to mid May in Iceland, late May in Svalbard, with incubation lasting 26-27 days. On hatching, the goslings accompany the parents on foot to the learest lake, where they fledge after about 56 days.
Calls and Songs
It produces a medley of high-pitched honking calls, being particularly vocal in flight.