Egyptian Goose


ORDER: Anseriformes

FAMILY: Anatidae

GENUS: Alopochen

SPECIES: aegyptiacus

DESCRIPTION:
Male is buff; wing coverts are white with black primaries, green secondaries and brown tertiaries. Belly is paler, mantle darker. The rump, tail and back are black. There is a chestnut patch around the eyes and on the breast and a chestnut ring around the neck. There are two color phases, one with a grayer back. The female is similar, but slightly smaller. Their long legs are pink, bill is pink with a black tip and base, and the eyes are dark yellow. Their most distinctive feature is the bandit's mask.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Inhabits Africa south of the Sahara, the Nile Valley, and southern Israel. Common anywhere except deep forest and desert, usually near water, sometimes on open plains. The only species of Shelduck found north of the equator.

DIET:
Feeds on crops and young grass.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Perches and roosts in trees, often using the same branch each night. Found in small groups or very large flocks. Noisy, often fighting. Call is a loud "Kak-kak"; hisses when annoyed. Breeds all months. Nest site varies: may be on ground, in holes in trees or cliffs, deserted tree nests, up to a mile from water. Nest is made of grass and reeds and lined with down. 6-10 yellowish white eggs are produced and incubated for 28-30 days. Life span is 22 years.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
They feed up on land as well as in the water.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
The Egyptian Goose is in the tribe of Shelducks. Apart from many duck-like characteristics, they also have external goose-like features. They are often bred in captivity.

OUR ANIMALS:

STATUS IN WILD:
On Appendix III of CITES, i.e. listed as threatened by a specific country.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Grzimek, Bernhard. 1972. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Vol 7, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, pp. 295, 301.
  2. Perrin & Middleton. 1985. The Encyclopedia of Birds, Facts on File, Inc, New York, p.94.

Site Map