Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


Greenland White-fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

Key facts

  • In N. America, they are known as "Specklebelly" due to the salt-and-pepper appearance of their underside.
  • The entire population of Greenland White-fronts winter in the UK and Ireland

Latest Reports

Selected date

Recent reports:

Latest Comments

"Hi,In early July...I think there was a piece on Greenland White Fronted Goose and I think it was on the Today programme (?) that had a live link to Dr Ruth Cromie in western Greenland via Iridium sate…"

Huw Thomas

Get in touch if you've got any comments or questions on the Greenland White-fronted Goose.

Top Goose

Which Greenland White-fronted Goose was the winner of our race over the mile and a half high ice cap to the top of the world?

Find out at the Top Goose site.

Species information

Crossing the 2700m high Greenland ice cap is an astonishing feat of endurance for a large bird. World On the Move is tracking three geese on this perilous journey and will be calculating how much energy they will need to complete this journey, considering the obstacles they meet along the way.

The Migration

In mid to late April they leave their wintering grounds in Ireland and Western Scotland reaching their Greenland breeding grounds in late May.

Time and Distance

They take 1-2 days to fly 1500 km from the Solway in Scotland to south west Iceland, and then another couple of days to fly 1450 km from Iceland to west Greenland where they nest.


En route to Greenland they fatten up for three weeks in Iceland. There are no feeding opportunities over the ice cap.

Reason for Migration

To breed and lay their eggs in the low predator, relatively disease-free environment of Greenland.


Species has declined from 35,500 individuals in 1998 to 25,000 in 2006.

Our Project

Top Goose - in conjunction with our partners, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, we are tracking 3 Greenland White-fronted Geese, named Lightning, GFG and Miles.

Thanks to our migration guru, Professor Colin Pennycuick, we can see their "virtual fuel reserve", which shows how much fat reserve they have left. This means you can watch their energy levels drop to dangerous levels as the birds tackle the Greenland ice cap.

Top Goose Links

Community photos


To showcase your photos join our flickr group BBC World on the Move and upload your photos. Visit our Flickr information page if you want to know more about this. These pictures are not hosted by the BBC. Please alert us if you spot anything inappropriate. This product uses the Flickr API but is not endorsed or certified by Flickr.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy