The Egyptian Goose is not really a goose, but is actually a Shelduck. It is a cross between a goose and a duck. It has many duck-like characteristics, but it also has some external goose-like traits. It is the most widespread of all the African waterfowl. These old-world shelducks were domesticated by the ancient Egyptians, who considered them to be sacred. The Romans and the Greeks also kept Egyptian Geese in domestic flocks.
Appearance: – There is a lot of color variation between individual Geese. The head and neck is pale grey with sides and crown being mottled brown, a reddish-brown ring around the lower neck, and large dark eye patch, pink beak, upper-parts are reddish-brown with fine black vermiculations, scapulars are dusty brown, rump and tail are black, under-tail is cinnamon colored, wing coverts are white with a black line, primary wing feathers are black, the secondaries are metallic green, and legs and feet are pink. Both sexes are alike but the male is usually larger.
Size: – Typical Adult is 25-29 inches.
Food: – Vegetable matter, leaves, seeds, plant stems, grasses, crops such as wheat. Occasionally will eat insects, worms, and small animals.
Habitat: – Wetlands, lakes , marshes, and rivers in Africa, south of the Sahara, and in the Nile Valley. Also introduced into East Anglia in the UK and the Netherlands.
Breeding Season: – July to March, or September to October further south.
Eggs: – 3 to 5 (creamy-white color).
Notes: – This Goose is actually a member of the Shelduck subfamily (Tadorninae). This goose was considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians and featured in much of their artwork.