Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Ruddy-headed Goose (Chloephaga rubidiceps)
Ruddy-headed Goose

Ruddy-headed Goose

Chloephaga rubidiceps

The Ruddy-headed Goose, with its scientific name Chloephaga rubidiceps, is a medium-sized waterfowl that presents a striking appearance. Both sexes exhibit similar plumage, characterized by red-brown heads and necks, a back adorned with gray and buff feathers barred with brown, and a belly of a warm cinnamon hue. The tail is a stark black, while the wings display a gray topside and a gray, black, and white underside. The bill is a deep black, and the legs and feet are a vibrant orange with black markings. Adult males typically weigh between 1.65 to 2.02 kilograms, while females are slightly lighter, ranging from 1.20 to 1.50 kilograms. The species measures from 45 to 52.5 centimeters in length.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Ruddy-headed Goose, look for the distinctive red-brown head and neck, the barred gray and buff back, and the cinnamon belly. The black tail and the coloration of the wings are also key features. The black bill and orange legs with black markings are additional identifiers. Juveniles resemble adults but have a duller overall appearance.


This goose favors open landscapes, thriving in meadows, Pampas wetlands, pond borders, and coastal grasslands. It is a species that appreciates the vast expanses of the southern hemisphere's grassy plains.


The Ruddy-headed Goose is native to the southern reaches of South America. It can be found in the eastern parts of Chilean and Argentinian Tierra del Fuego, extending north to Buenos Aires Province in Argentina, and is also a resident of the Falkland Islands.


On the Falkland Islands, these geese are year-round residents, though they do engage in local movements. In Tierra del Fuego and the southern mainland of Argentina, they are migratory, breeding in these southern areas and moving north to winter as far as Buenos Aires Province.

Song & calls

The vocal repertoire of the Ruddy-headed Goose includes distinct sounds for each sex. Males emit a short, whistled 'seep', while females produce a short, rasping quack. These calls can be heard across the open landscapes they inhabit.


The breeding season for this species commences in September on the Falkland Islands and in mid-October on the mainland. Nests are typically hidden in long grass or among boulders, lined with down for comfort and insulation. Clutch sizes range from three to eight eggs, with males standing guard as females incubate the eggs over a period of approximately 30 days. The duration until the young are ready to fledge is not precisely known.

Diet and Feeding

The Ruddy-headed Goose is predominantly vegetarian, foraging mostly on land. Its diet consists of small berries, roots, leaves, stems, and seeds of grasses and sedges. In winter, it may also feed on young wheat and leftovers in harvested fields of maize, sunflower, and sorghum.

Conservation status

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Ruddy-headed Goose as Least Concern. However, the population is believed to be in decline, with robust numbers in the Falklands but potentially only a few hundred individuals remaining in Tierra del Fuego and mainland South America. A significant factor in their decline has been predation by the introduced South American gray fox. Efforts are underway, including a Memorandum of Understanding negotiated under the Bonn Convention, to protect the migratory populations between Tierra del Fuego and the mainland.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Ruddy-headed Geese on Birda


More Ducks, Geese, Swans

A photo of a Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) , male

Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Simply fantastic
I love this app, it puts so much fun into recording the birds I’ve seen and heard while I’m out and about. The interface is user-friendly and suitable for all ages. It’s great to collect badges and to review my “lists”.
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Fantastic App
This is a really lovely app, for everyone interested in birds - from newbies to old hands. There is a very friendly feel to the community and you will genuinely learn a lot as you record your sightings and photos. There are lots of badges and competitions to keep you engaged, and a host of really useful features.
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❤️
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Such a great app!
I didn’t think I could enjoy birding more but this app makes it so much better. Some great features and a really great way to share your sightings with your friends or fellow birders nearby or around the world! ❤️
Mike T
Sense of Community
A great app, which is continually being improved. What really comes through is the passion of those behind the app. The sense of community is brilliant, so much help and support provided to new and/or in experienced birders.
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.