Egyptian goose 02 - Cleveland Zoo
An Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) struts its stuff at the Cleveland Zoo, one of the Cleveland Metroparks in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
This bird is extremely common through sub-Saharan Africa. They weigh 3 to 5 lbs., and are 25 to 29 inches long (males being slightly larger and heavier). They have an average wingspan of 15 inches.
Neither a duck nor a goose, this bird has characteristics of both. It is a heavy flier, and is primarily terrestrial although it will perch in trees and on buildings.
Egyptian geese prefer lush river valleys and ponds. They forage primiarly on dry land, eating seeds, leaves, grasses, and plant stems. They sometimes also devour insects, worms, or other small amphibians or mammals.
These birds life to be about 15 years old in the wild, and easily live to 30 or 35 years in captivity.
Egyptian geese mate for life. Breeding occurs at the end of the dry season, usually March to July. Nests are often built in dense vegetaion, holes, on the ground, on moderately high tree branches, and even ledges. Both parents incubate. The female lays 5 to 12 eggs, which hatch in 28 to 30 days. Chicks fledge in 70 days, during which time the male protects them and the female guides them to food. Both genders become sexually mature at 2 years.
Egyptian geese are normally placid, but become extremely aggressive and territorial during breeding season. They will attack intruders, even engaging in aerial dogfights. If disturbed, the nesting female has a raucous, loud honk that will continue for a long time.
Once a chick has fledged, it will fly away from home and seek out a river or pond for its own territory. It will not leave this area for the rest of its life, unless there is severe drought.
When it is not mating season, Egyptian geese tend to congregate in large flocks during the day for protection, and sleep singly or in very small groups on the water at night.