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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Egyptian Goose

Afrikaans name: Kolgans

Egyptian Goose in flight

An Egyptian Goose in flight

Photo © Steven Herbert

Alopochen aegyptiacus

The Egyptian Goose was a sacred bird to the ancient Egyptians. They are found in the Nile River Valley and in sub-Saharan Africa. This 'goose' is actually a Shelduck.

It is an extremely common bird in many areas around South Africa. They adapt well to living near humans.

The Egyptian Goose is often found on land although they are good swimmers. They may be seen in trees or on buildings.

The pair nest in trees or in vegetation and the nest can be away from the water. They make excellent parents and defend their youngsters aggressively.

Egyptian Geese pair for life. The plumage of the male and female is identical. Males are slightly larger than females.

They mainly feed on vegetable material including farm crops. In some areas it is considered a pest and is hunted. Apart from vegetable material they also eat insects and worms.

Egyptian Goose chick - cute!

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Something cute - an Egyptian Goose gosling

Below - Something not so cute - a juvenile Egyptian Goose sprawled out on a lawn.

Fledgeling Egyptian Goose - not a pretty site!

Photo © Steven Herbert


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 168

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 60

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 10

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 36

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 11

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 40

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 178

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 408

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 82

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 83

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 76

List of South African Birds

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