Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Egyptian Geese are very large, 29" (74cm) birds, redish-brown on top and beige below. A flash of iridescent green may be seen from its wing (distinct on top of wing, when flying), along with white, orange, brown and black. An orange-brown eye, set inside a brown eye-patch. Pink legs and (webbed) feet that turn darker when breeding. In all, a very distinctive bird, unlikely to be confused with any other. The female is smaller than the male.
Egyptian Geese are monogamous (form life-long partnerships) and are very territorial. Fights between couples are frequently seen, even in the air, which can turn into spectacular "dog-fights". Males are normally quiet birds, only 'quacking' when aroused - or honking, during courtship displays. The female, by comparison, is far more vocal, especially when around her chicks. Although it is the female that builds the nest, both parents tend the young until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
Egyptian Geese eat mostly seeds, but are often seen eating grass, leaves, stems and tubers on land. When in water, they eat algae and aquatic plants. Occasionally, they will also eat termites, worms, locusts and other small insects.
Egyptian Geese are seen all over Kenya, below 3,000 metres, wherever there is a body of water. In particular, dams, slow-moving rivers, water holes and lakes.
Extra Egyptian Goose Facts
Egyptian Geese were held sacred by the ancient Egyptians and a lot of artifacts depict these birds.
Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park, Lake Baringo, Mfangano Island and Olare Orok Conservancy.
Keywords:bird, egyptian goose, egyptian gosling, goose, kenya, wildlife