Blue Winged Goose
Although the Blue Winged Goose is typically found by running or standing water, this portly goose rarely swims, but it is a capable walker and runner. It often occurs on the banks of rivers and lakes, where it grazes on grasses, sedges and other vegetation, although it is also known to occasionally feed on insects, worms, freshwater mollusks and small reptiles.
This goose is often found in large flocks of 50 to 100 individuals, until the arrival of the breeding season, when it occurs in small groups or single pairs. The breeding season occurs in the drier months between March and June, when the blue winged goose constructs a nest on the ground, hidden amongst vegetation. After breeding, the blue-winged goose moves to lower altitudes for the wetter, non-breeding season.
Appearance: – This goose is a stocky grey-brown mottled bird, paler on the head and neck, a black beak, dark brown eyes, a pale blue fore-wing which is distinctive when in flight, primary wing feathers are black and secondaries are glossy green, a black tail, the under-tail and vent is white, and the legs and feet are black. Both sexes are alike but the male is usually slightly larger.
Size: – Typical Adult is 24-30 inches.
Food: – Grazes on grasses, sedges, and vegetation. Sometimes insects, worms, small reptiles, and molluscs.
Habitat: – Near freshwater lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, and on grassland. This goose is endemic to the highlands of Ethiopia.
Breeding Season: – March to June.
Eggs: – 6 to 7 (creamy color).
Notes: – This goose is only found in the highlands of Ethiopia. It can swim and fly well but rarely does either, it much prefers to graze near to the water. It is a relatively quiet goose and largely nocturnal – it builds its nest and grazes at night. Numbers have declined due to habitat loss as the human population increases and it is now listed as ‘Vulnerable’.