Andean Geese

Goose Information / Overview ... Photos of the Different Goose Species for Identification ... Species Index of Geese

Andean Goose, Chloephaga melanoptera - feeding


Andean Goose, Chloephaga melanopteraThe Andean Geese, Chloephaga melanoptera, are membemrs of the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae.

As suggested by their common name, these geese are found in the high Andes mountain range along the western coast of South America. They are resident (non-migratory).

Outside the breeding season, these geese form small flocks.

Andrean Geese typically remain well above 3000 m in areas that are close to bodies of water (i.e., lakes) and marshes. However, they are mostly terrestrial and avoid swimming, except in situations where it is necessary (in emergencies).



These bulky birds have a mostly white plumage, except for black feathers on the wings and the tail. The bill is small and flesh-colored.

Males and females look alike; except males are generally larger in size.


Diet / Feeding

The Andean Geese feed on various grasses.


Nesting / Breeding

They nest on bare scrapes on the ground near water. A nest typically contains between 6 to 10 eggs.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

Andean Goose, Chloephaga melanoptera

Andean Geese


Diet / Feeding:

Geese feed mainly on plant material. When feeding in water, they submerge their heads and necks to reach aquatic plants, sometimes tipping forward like a dabbling duck. Flocks of these birds often feed on leftover cultivated grains in fields, especially during migration or in winter.

Ducks and geese generally feed on larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails and crabs.

Feeding Ducks and Geese ...

We all enjoy waterfowl and many of us offer them food to encourage them to come over and stay around - and it works! Who doesn't like an easy meal!

However, the foods that we traditionally feed them at local ponds are utterly unsuitable for them and are likely to cause health problems down the road. Also, there may be local laws against feeding this species of bird - so it's best to check on that rather than facing consequences at a later stage.

Please note that feeding ducks and geese makes them dependent on humans for food, which can result in starvation and possibly death when those feedings stop. If you decide to feed them, please limit the quantity to make sure that they maintain their natural ability to forage for food themselves - providing, of course, that natural food sources are available.


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