Ruddy Headed Goose
The continental population of the Ruddy Headed Goose is migratory and is in imminent danger of extinction because of the small size of its population, its restricted area of distribution, and the numerous threats which it faces in its breeding grounds in the continental area of the Magallenes region of Chile. It breeds on open grassy plains in Tierra del Fuego, Chile and the Falkland Islands. The South American birds are now very rare. They winter on lowlands in southern Argentina, some distance north of the breeding range. The Falklands population is resident.
Appearance: – The Ruddy headed Goose has a chestnut-brown head and upper neck, dark-brown eyes with white eye-ring, a short black beak, the breast and underparts are buff with black barring, the upper-parts are grey, the tail and rump are black, the wings are white with black primaries, brown tertials, and a metallic green speculum, the legs and feet are orange. Both sexes are alike.
Size: – Typical Adult is 18-20 inches.
Food: – Plants, grasses, and sedges. Feeds mainly by grazing on land and rarely swims.
Habitat: – Open grassy plains, and meadows. It breeds in Tierra del Fuego, Chile and the Falkland Islands. The Falklands population is resident and the Chile population winter in southern Argentina (Buenos Aires province).
Breeding Season: – From September or October.
Eggs: – 3 to 8 (pale-brown color).
Notes: – The Ruddy headed Goose is a large stocky South American Sheldgoose. They remain numerous in the Falkland Islands but the Tierra del Fuego population has decreased to a few hundred birds because of livestock farming and predation from the Gray Fox which was introduced in the 1950s to control rabbits.