Cape Barren Goose
The Cape Barren Goose is a very large, pale grey goose with a relatively small head. Its stubby triangular bill is almost concealed by a very prominent greenish-yellow cere (skin above the bill). It has rows of large dark spots in lines across the scapulars (shoulders) and wing coverts. The legs are pink to deep red and the feet black. In flight it shows dark wingtips and along the trailing edge of the wings. It is also known as the Pig Goose.
Appearance: – The Cape Barren Goose is a bulky goose with a pale grey plumage and small black spots on its wing feathers, the tail and flight feathers are blackish, a green-yellow cere on its short black beak, legs are pink and webbed feet are black. Both sexes are alike but the male is slightly larger.
Size: – Typical Adult is 30-40 inches.
Food: – Mainly grazing on grasses, tussock grass, spear grass, herbs, barley grass and clover.
Habitat: – Offshore islands near the southern coast of Australia, and mainland farming areas on the southern coast of Australia. Also a few can be found in Tasmania.
Breeding Season: – May to September.
Eggs: – Around 4 to 7 (creamy-white color).
Notes: – The Cape Barren Goose is also known as the Pig Goose as it makes a grunting sound like a pig. This goose has the ability to drink salty or brackish water which enables it to remain on offshore islands all year round. In the 1950s this goose was close to extinction, but steps have been taken to increase the population, however it is still one of the rarest species of Goose in the world today. This bird feeds by grazing and rarely swims.