004 Bean Goose
(Anser fabalis)


70-87 cm. This goose is darker than other grey geese. It has dark brown head, dark brown back with regular pale cream bars. There is orange band on its black bill. Its legs are orange-yellow. Its tail contains a dark, broad tail-band. It has two subspecies fabalis and rossicus.
SSp fabalis about as large as Greylag Goose but has narrower neck, smaller head, slimmer bill and body. Bill is usually long.
SSp rossicus is slightly smaller, has shorter neck, darker head and neck.
In large flocks some birds appear to be intermediates.


Both subspecies are regular autumn and spring migrants in Hungary. Spring migration starts in February and lasts still mid March, autumn migration starts end of September, but majority arrives second part of October and lasts till December. From its two forms in Hungary the most common is the Anser fabalis rossicus. It migrates through Transdanubia in large flocks in autumn and in somewhat smaller numbers during spring, but also common on the Great Plain. Regularly overwinters.

004 Bean Goose pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008