Many of us know only domestic species of geese and do not even realize that in nature there are a lot of their wild relatives. Wild geese belong to the duck family, however, they differ from ducks by a longer neck, a strong build, and a larger beak. But each wild breed has its own characteristics. What kind? We offer to learn with us.
Like domestic birds, wild geese spend more time on land. In this they differ from their relatives ducks and swans. Many species live on the shores of freshwater bodies, and on the sea coasts. And during the flight emit a distinctive cry.
Today, among all wild geese there are two types, geese and geese themselves. How do they differ, we will understand in more detail.
The main external difference between geese and geese is that the first representatives have, as a rule, a red beak and paws, as well as a lighter plumage. By constitution, some geese are also larger, and yet they always emit a ringing cry. Below we look at their main types.
Greylag Goose (Anseranser)
The birds of this breed are the most famous among the rest that live on our continent. They are considered to be the ancestors of our domestic gray geese. The wild species has a gray-brown color, a white breast and abdomen, over which dark spots are scattered. The bird lives in the countries of Western Europe, throughout the former USSR, nests in the Northern Dvina, Karelia, sometimes beyond the Urals and in the Volga region. It is found in Afghanistan, Iran and in Spain. Habitat comes to the Arctic Circle.
The gray goose belongs to large species, its average weight ranges from 2 to 4.5 kilograms, and some males reach a mass of 6.5 kilograms. The body is large, length - from 70 to 90 centimeters.
This wild goose is very similar to gray, but still has its own characteristics. It also has a brown-gray color of the plumage, but it is distinguished by a dark beak with a characteristic orange band in the middle, as seen in the photo. Also, bean gum is slightly less than the gray representative, has an average weight of 4.5 kilograms. In our country, this is one of the earliest migratory birds; already in the middle of March, many beanberry fly into their homeland.
This species lives mainly in the taiga and tundra, for the winter flies to the southern regions of the Eastern hemisphere. Especially often this breed is found in Altai and in Mongolia.
White or polar goose
This is a very beautiful rather large species that has snow-white plumage with black stripes on the ends of its wings (see photo). It has an average weight of about 5 kilograms, body length up to 80 centimeters. In our country, it is quite a rare representative of wild geese. It lives on the Arctic coasts, on Wrangel Island. For wintering flies to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as to the south.
Another large breed, which in appearance resembles bean goose. It differs, perhaps, from all other wild geese with a long beak. Even at the dry-sucker is beautiful coloring. So, it has a dark brown upper body, a little lighter lower, and brown stripes on the back and sides. The front of the neck and cheeks are light in color, as seen in the photo.
This species lives in the mountainous and steppe regions of Southern Siberia, in Mongolia, in the northern part of China. In our country, nests in the areas of the Amur region, in Transbaikalia and on the island of Sakhalin. For the winter, as a rule, a large pagoda of wild geese flies to the east of China and to Japan.
Interesting! In the Chinese city of Chang'an there is a brick big pagoda of wild geese. Today it is a seven-tier structure with a height of over 64 meters. From its top there is a view of the whole old city. The pagoda received its name because of an ancient legend. She talks about how the Buddha managed in these places to overcome the desire to eat beautiful wild birds.
This species is a record holder in flight altitude; birds can reach altitudes of 10,000 meters. And this is despite the fact that their average weight is about 3.2 kilograms. This goose got its name due to its habitat. It settles on the shores of mountain lakes and rivers, as well as on the rocks. Inhabits the mountain lakes of the Pamirs, Tien Shan, Altai, as well as reservoirs of the Tuva People's Republic. Wintering is carried out preferably in India.
The mountain goose has a gray plumage with a white head and neck. On the back of the head there are two distinctive black stripes. The legs and beak are yellow in color, as can be clearly seen in the photo.
This goose got its unusual name not only because of its unusual appearance, but also because of its behavior. This is a fairly large bird that weighs about 4-6.8 kilograms with a body length of up to 100 centimeters. It has a gray color with white spots throughout the body. A small head, a short neck and a short curved beak externally alienates this view from geese. They even have unusual geese long legs with short black fingers.
These birds swim and fly reluctantly, so they spend most of their time on land. Meet chicken geese can be on the island of Tasmania and in South Australia.
This species lives in Africa, preferably south of the Sahara and in the Nile Valley, and also rare populations live in the Netherlands and in the UK. These are ground geese that live on land but can nest on buildings and trees. They also swim well, but fly hard and rarely.
Both females and males have the same color: gray breast, brownish neck, white head with some patches of brown, brown wings with white stripes. It is noteworthy that among the ancient Egyptians, these birds were considered sacred. You can look at them from the photo.
This is another beautiful and slightly unusual wild goose. It has a white body with dark black stripes on the back and wings, a black tail. On a white background, pronounced red paws and beak. The weight of a small - only about 3.5 pounds. Based on the name, it can be understood that the birds live in the Andes at an altitude of more than 3000 meters - from Peru to Argentina.
This breed deserves attention due to its beautiful color. This is a small bird weighing up to 3.1 kilograms with a white main plumage, which are gray strips. However, the plumage of females is dominated by brown color, which is clearly seen in the photo. They also have different color of paws: in males - black, in females - yellow. All beak is black. For nesting the Magellan breed, the goose chooses the grassy areas of South America.
This species is found mainly in Alaska. It has a small body of a bluish-gray color with a white head and a white neck on the back surface. Unusual gray beak with a pink base. In winter, some populations migrate to the western coastal states. As for our country, these geese live in Chukotka, in particular on the coast of the Gulf of Anadyr, on Kamchatka, on the Commander Islands.
The geese are also waterfowl, which look like many species of wild geese, but are usually smaller. They have a short beak, short legs of black color, and also dark colors in plumage prevail. Even geese do not produce the typical goose goose. Their cry is more like a barking dog, shorter and shorter. There are also many species among them. The main and most common are discussed below.
It is the most famous representative of this species of wild geese. It is also often called the North American goose, as it lives mainly in Canada and Alaska. Among these geese, there are about 12 subspecies, since the size and plumage of birds largely depends on the habitat.
The main species settles in areas from the Arctic to the north of the United States, and is also found in Scandinavia and the UK. These birds have gray-brown plumage with a white breast, black neck and head. Their bright feature is a white bright spot on the cheeks and a white stripe on the tail.
These wild geese are small, but the brightest and most unusual in color. So, they have a red chest with a white border, bright spots on the cheeks, white spots near the beak, black back and black belly. This type of geese is also easily distinguished by another external feature - they have a rather thick neck and an unusual tuft of the head. This is a rare species that lives in the tundra on Taimyr, and also winters in the southern zone of the Caspian Sea and in the western Black Sea region.
This type of geese due to its small size looks more like a duck than a goose. They have short legs, rather long body. This is the smallest species among all geese. Differ also dark black color of feathers. Only the back and wings have brown blotches, and even on the neck there is a white stripe, as in the photo.
Black geese are rare birds that inhabit the tundra zones. In particular, they nest in North America, the coastal tundra zones of Eurasia, and even beyond the Arctic Circle. Winter is spent on the shores of England and Denmark, in the North Sea.
This type is very similar in appearance to the Canadian brant, but it has a smaller size, weighs only 2.5 kilograms. Color feathers two-tone: black on top, white on the bottom. Gray stripes are visible on the sides, as well as white spots on the cheeks, for which the bird got its name. This goose lives in the mountainous regions of Europe, preferably in tundra zones. It runs well, and also has a quick light flight.
Homeland of this breed of geese Hawaii, where they still live mostly in the wild. However, in Europe, this bird is often kept as a domestic one. Unlike other geese, the Hawaiian has underdeveloped membranes on its paws, therefore it swims little and lives more on land. In 1950, the population of these birds was on the verge of extinction, but the efforts of environmentalists still did not allow their complete extinction. Today, Hawaiian goose still remains a rare species. Its exterior look at the photo.
Video "Wild Geese"
In this video, you can see close-ups of many breeds of birds, see how wild geese fly, how different they are.