Immigrant from Africa: the Egyptian Goose

NilgansIf you are looking for the Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) you have to memorize the typical chatter of this species, because the deliberately calling male Egyptian Goose does not hide. Originally native to Africa, the Egyptian Goose is no longer an exception in Germany.

Today, these sole members of the genus Alopochen are frequently found in many places. Its spread in Europe originated in Great Britain, where it was released. The population rapidly increased. As the English Channel is not a serious geographic barrier, it was only a matter of time before the first birds appeared on the European mainland. Since 1980, the Egyptian Goose has been established in Germany and its population has already reached an impressive size. Egyptian Geese now belong to the familiar inventory of many lakes and ponds.

The long-necked and high-legged Egyptian Geese are about 70 cm tall and weigh up to two and a half kilos. Male and female are same-colored. They show a pronounced pairing behavior. When Egyptian Geese lead young, they can be quite aggressive against observers or photographers. However, usually every bigger location has a pair that is particularly cute. Then even extreme wide angles can replace the longer tele lenses of 600 or even 800 mm.

Although usually the Egyptian Geese occupy a wide range of nesting sites in their African homeland next to tree caves, they are mainly breeders on the ground in Europe. The birds like to lay their basic nest on islands or near the shore.

During the approximately one month of breeding, the birds are perfectly camouflaged with their spotted brown plumage. The up to ten eggs are incubated exclusively by the female. Some couples breed up to three times a year. The slightly larger male guard the proximity of the nest. He accompanies the female only in the breeding pauses and only takes part in the family events when the youngs are led. Sometimes the male attracts attention by continual chattering. This way, he quickly reveals to the photographer his whereabouts during the breeding season. The first youngs are sometimes to be seen already in April.

During the first two weeks, the youngs will be reared mainly in the shallow water area and between the shore vegetation. The place is not always easy to find for the photographer. It is easier if you photograph the geese in a resting phase on land, because after an extensive search for food in the short grass it is time to cuddle together and rest. Otherwise the youngs are very exploratory and agile.

If the observer is adequately quiet and patient, these moments can be exploited by the photographer. Sometimes a young goose approaches without fear the observer until it is recalled by the male.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds not only for the Western Palearctic. Trips to remote places to capture images of rare birds were very successful. The nice image you find in the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give me a message, if could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *