Spur-Winged Goose

The Spur-Winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis gambensis) is a large bird in the Anatidae family of geese. It is related to the Shelduck.

The Spur-Winged Goose is black with a white face and white patches on its wings. Its belly is white. It has a red facial patch from its beak to above its eyes. The male has a larger red facial patch than the female. It has a long, S-shaped neck. It has long pinkish-red legs. 

Spur-Winged Goose

It grows up to 75-115 centimetres (30-45 inches) tall. The male is larger than the female. Its wingspan measures 150-200 centimetres (59-79 inches). It is the largest African waterfowl. 

It is found in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in southern countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa. It prefers wetlands near ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and marshes. 

It is a grazing bird. It feeds on plants, grasses, grains, and fruit. Sometimes it eats insects and small fish. 

The Spur-Winged Goose is found in small flocks of up to 50 individuals. 

It makes a nest hidden in vegetation near water. Sometimes, it nests in tree hollows or in old nests made by other birds. The female lays 5-6 eggs, which hatch after about 28 days. The chicks are born with some dull brown feathers. 

Spur-Winged Goose
Spur-Winged Goose
Spur-Winged Goose
Spur-Winged Goose
Spur-Winged Goose

Location of photographs: Masai Mara, Kenya

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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