Egyptian goose

Latin Name
Alopochen aegyptiacus

Class
Birds

Order
Anseriformes

Description

A large bird, the Egyptian geese can reach nearly two feet in length. The species has a light brown body, with slightly darker markings on the wings and head. Adult birds have a dark brown patch around each eye.




Range

Sub-Saharan Africa


Status

Common


Habitat

Wetlands, rivers, lakes, ponds and meadows


Niche

Egyptian geese feed primarily on grasses, sedges, herbs and grain, although they also eats the occasional worm and locust. The birds gather together in flocks, which helps provide protection against predators.


Life History

The male Egyptian goose attracts its mate with an elaborate, noisy courtship display that includes honking, neck stretching and feather displays. Nesting sites can vary widely, ranging from the ground to burrows, cliff ledges and treetops. The female builds the nest from reeds, leaves and grass, and both parents take turns incubating eggs. Egyptian geese are very aggressive during breeding season—they will chase other birds out of their territory and will occasionally harass larger animals, such as crocodiles.


Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit