Egyptian Goose

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.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose in water


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.

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