Ashy-headed goose

The ashy-headed goose (Chloephaga poliocephala) is a large sheldgoose, which breeds in mountainous areas of southernmost South America and winters on lowlands just north of its breeding range.

Ashy-headed goose
Chloephaga poliocephala -Patagonia-8.jpg
Adult in Patagonia, South America
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Chloephaga
C. poliocephala
Binomial name
Chloephaga poliocephala
Chloephaga poliocephala map.svg
Chloephaga poliocephala - MHNT

The lined nest is built in tall grass, and 4–6 eggs are laid. This terrestrial species favours damp upland forest clearings and feeds by grazing; it rarely swims.


Parents with chicks in Tierra del Fuego
Juveniles in Patagonia

The ashy-headed goose is a stocky 50–55 cm (20–22 in) bird with a pale brown back, chestnut neck and black-barred white flanks. The head is grey and paler over the crown. The inside of the legs are black and the outside of the legs are red. Sexes are similar, except that the male may have reduced or no underparts barring. Immature birds are duller and have brown heads.

In flight, this species shows black primaries, with the rest of the wing white except for a broad green bar. The male's call is a soft whistle, and the female's is a harsh cackle.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Chloephaga poliocephala". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.