Ashy-headed Geese


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Ashy-headed Goose (Chloephaga poliocephala)


The Ashy-headed Geese (Chloephaga poliocephala) breed in the mountainous areas of southernmost South America; and winter on lowlands just north of its breeding range.This inhabit damp upland forest clearing and feed by grazing;They rarely swim.



The Ashy-headed Goose averages 50-55cm in length (from head to tail). The plumage is pale brown on the back. It has a chestnut neck and black-barred white flanks. The head is grey.

Males and females look alike, except that the male may have reduced or no underparts barring.

Juveniules are duller and have brown heads.

In flight, its black primary wing feathers in flight are visible, with the rest of the wing being white except for a broad green bar.


Calls / Vocalizations

The male's call is a soft whistle, and the female's is a harsh cackle.


Breeding / Nesting

The build their nests in tall grass. The average nest consists of 4 - 6 eggs.

Ashy-headed Goose (Chloephaga poliocephala)


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.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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