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< >  Alopochen aegyptiacus - Egyptian Goose (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Nile Goose
Ouette d'Egypte (French)
Oie d'Egypt (French)
Nilgans (German)
Ganso del Nilo (Spanish)
Ganso de Egipto (Spanish)
Oca del Nilo (Spanish)
Oca egipcia (Spanish)
Nijlgans (Dutch)
Nilgås (Swedish)

Names for newly-hatched

Gosling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B2, B3, B4, B8, B19, B25, B26, B27.

Other references:
B38

Aviculture references:
J23.13.w7
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B95, B97, B128.w1, B128.w2, B139
D1, D8

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General information:
  • Sheldgeese are generally hardy, and mostly aggressive particularly in the breeding season, so that pairs require a separate pen. A pen for a pair of these birds may be 80% grazing land to 20% water, with a minimum size of 200 square metres for the smaller species (e.g. Orinoco goose) and 300 square metres for the larger species.
  • Grazing birds, their grass (sward of less than 3 inches 7.5cm preferred) should be supplemented with wheat and pellets outside the breeding season and breeders pellets before and during the breeding season. Additional green food should be provided when there is insufficient grass.
  • Sheltered nest sites may be needed for species which nest early in the year. Ground-level nest boxes, open to the ground, 20x16x16 inches (50x40x40cm), with a ground level entrance hole and containing e.g. dry grass as nesting material.

(B7, B29, B40 B95, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Egyptian geese are winter-hardy. These sheldgeese are territorial and aggressive, particularly when nesting, attacking even large geese and swans: a separate enclosure is suggested and these birds are definately not suitable for a mixed collection in a small enclosure. Good grazing, plus green food, pellets, grain and bread suggested for feeding.
  • Easy to breed, parent incubation and rearing recommended, although broodies and fostering under domestic ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus - Domestic duck) has also been successful. Normally one clutch will be laid and reared; a second clutch of eggs may be laid if the fist clutch is lost. May nest on the ground in close or more open cover (e.g. under bushes), or use a hollow log, drainpipe, box, kennel or wigwam. Usually lay eggs March to June. Goslings may be fed grass, duckweed and starter crumbs; very high protein starter pellets should be avoided and grazing encouraged to reduce the risk of Angel Wing.
  • Hybridisation common; fertile hybrids reported with Tadorna species, Neochen jubata - Orinoco goose and Cyanochen cyanopterus - Blue-winged goose, sterile hybrids with Anser spp. including Anser anser - Greylag goose, Branta spp. and Chloephaga spp.. Hybrids also reported with Cairina moschata - Muscovy duck , sheldgeese, Plectropterus gambensis - Spur-winged goose, Chenonetta jubata - Maned duck.

(J23.13.w7, B29, B30, B31, B94, B95, B97, B128.w2, B139, D1).

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average closed ring size: N 13.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 28-29 inches, 71-73cm (B3, B1).
Adult weight General 1500-2250g (B1)
Male 1900-2250g (B3); mean 5.4 lbs. (B8).
Female 1500-1800g (B3); mean 4.7 lbs. (B8).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Deep pink.
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Yellow-grey.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Deep pink.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Yellow-grey

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Plumage

Adult Male Head, neck, breast, abdomen grey-buff, with brown line from bill and patch around eye, brown line down nape and forward to form neck ring. Brown patch on abdomen (variable size). Undertail coverts more cinnamon than buff.

Upperparts generally darker brown. Scapulars brownish, tail and rump black. Wing has white upper wing coverts with thin black line across, chestnut tertials, metallic green secondaries (speculum), black primaries.

Variations (If present) N.B. individual variation.
Juvenile Lacks brown marks around eyes and on breast, white on upper wing duller.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Creamy with dark brown dorsal markings, white behind bill and continuing as thin line just over and behind eye.
Bill: Dark grey.
Feet: Dark grey.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Usually local spring or end of dry season. Late March to May in England.
No. of Clutches --

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Nest placement and structure

On the ground in vegetation or in trees or holes, sometimes in disused nests of other birds. Nest of reeds, leaves, grass, with lining of down.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average --
Range 5-12 (B1); 5-11 (B8).
Egg Description Creamy. Size: 44-48 x 55-68 mm.

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Incubation

28-30 days (B1, B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

About 60-75 days (B1); 70-80 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males --
Females --

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Mainly grazing, also dabbles on surface and submerges head.
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building As solitary pairs.
Incubation By female only.
Newly-hatched Looked after by both parents.
Juveniles

Remain with parents for several weeks or months after fledging.

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Territorial while breeding. Some remain as solitary pairs outside the breeding season, others form flocks. Considerable aggression between birds in flocks.
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

Strong permanent pair bond.

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Predation in Wild

Kites, monitor lizards, snakes, various mammals and hinged tortoises all prey on goslings. Crocodiles might be a threat to adults.

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Activity Patterns

Mainly terrestrial.
Circadian Fly out to grazing grounds at sunset to feed for several hours, but not all night.

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Natural Diet

Adults

Grass, also seeds, leaves and stems of other plants, grain, potatoes and other vegetables. Also worms, locusts.

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal
  • Africa south of Sahara, and the Nile valley.

  • Mainly sedentary, some movements depending on water availability

Occasional and Accidental
  • Occasionally migrates north of Sahara to winter in Algeria and Tunisia.
  • Occasionally seen in Europe.

Introduced

Small feral populations in Britain and the Netherlands (B38).

London: In the London Area, "increasing feral breeding resident." (J322.65.w1)

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Habitat

Open country: wetlands, meadows, and grasslands, including Ethiopian highlands to 4000m.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Not considered threatened. Widespread and abundant (B1).

CITES listing CITES III in Ghana (B1).
Red-data book listing --
Threats --

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Captive Populations

Reasonably common (B8).

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Trade

--

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