Greylag goose

Large, brown goose

Greylag goose © Eero Haapanen

The greylag goose (Anser anser) is a large and handsome goose with a brownish plumage, a large beak and a powerful, trumpet-like voice. The domestic goose was originally derived from the greylag goose.

The greylag goose has faced similar tribulations in Finland to the whooper swan. They were hunted nearly to extinction, in response to which greylag geese became very timid. After the Winter and Continuation Wars, there were only a few dozen greylag geese left in the Finnish archipelago. However, in recent decades the greylag goose has returned to the Gulf of Finland’s shores, and is slowly spreading to lakes as well.

Two pairs of greylag geese nested in Vanhankaupunginlahti in 2015–2016. The species is expected to also start nesting in Helsinki’s other sea areas in the future.