Kelp Geese inhabit areas of southern Chile and Argentina, mainly in Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and the Falkland Islands. The Kelp Goose habitat is limited to rocky coasts around their food sources. Kelp geese are noted for only eating kelp and will migrate along the coast of South America in order to find kelp, hence the name ‘kelp geese’. Kelp geese generally have clutches of 2-7 eggs. They prefer to hide their eggs in long grass. The eggs hatch about a month later.
Male: – The male goose has an all-white plumage, a black beak, brown eyes, and yellow legs and feet.
Female: – The female has a dark-brown head and neck, white eye-ring, a blackish-brown breast and flanks with white barring, dark-brown upper-parts, a white abdomen, tail and under-wing, and black wing tips.
Size: – Typical Adult is 22-25 inches.
Food: – Mainly Kelp (seaweed and algae) along the coast, also grasses and berries.
Habitat: – Rocky coasts, and coastal freshwater lagoons in southern Chile and Argentina, mainly in Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and the Falkland Islands.
Breeding Season: – October to November.
Eggs: – 3 to 7 (creamy or pale buff color).
Notes: – There are two sub-species of Kelp Goose: Greater Kelp-Goose (Chloephaga Hybrida Malvinarum), and Lesser Kelp-Goose (Chloephaga Hybrida Hybrida). The Greater Kelp-Goose is only found in the Falkland Islands and is a slightly larger goose. This goose is part of the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae. It gets its name because it moves along the coast of South America feeding on kelp.