Wild Geese

Bar-Headed Geese


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Bar-Headed Geese Details

Bar-Headed Geese Anser indicus

Bar-Headed Geese (sometimes referred to as Indian Geese) are beautiful geese. They have a bright yellow bill, and their heads are white with two horizontal black bars on the back of the head for which they are named. The white coloring extends down the sides of the neck, with dark brown on the back of the neck and a light fawn color on the front. The rest of the body is fawn-lavender colored with white barring.

Range: The natural range of the Bar-Headed Goose is the Himalayan Mountain area. They spend breeding season in Central Asia, the biggest populations being in Mongolia and western China. They spend the winter in Southern Asia, sometimes into Southern India.

Habitat: Bar-Headed Geese inhabit highland wetlands, mountain lakes, and marshes. They usually live at high altitudes during breeding season. In the winter, they can often be found in grain and rice fields.

Status in the Wild: The Bar-Headed Goose is considered of Least Concern. Huge populations of thousands of individual birds live throughout Central and Southern Asia. There are also small pockets of Bar-Headed Goose populations in Great Britain and Europe as escaped birds have naturalized readily in these areas.

Status in Aviculture: Bar-Headed Geese may be found in huge numbers in Asia, but they are still quite rare in North American aviculture. They are more common in Europe and Great Britain and do well in captivity, breeding readily.

Breeding: Breeding Season is late May through Junes and the geese start to form pairs in their second or third year. Bar-Headed Geese usually do mate for life, although sometimes one male may have a harem of up to 5 females. Nest sites are always close to water, and are usually on the ground although sometimes they choose a tree or rocky outcropping. Nests consist of up of grasses, vegetation, and feathers by the female. The female also incubates the eggs, which consists of 4-6 eggs in a clutch. Incubation is for 27-30 days, and the goslings can quite feed themselves within two days.

Lifespan: In the wild, Bar-Headed Geese tend to live between 10-24 years. In captivity, they have been known to live to over 25 years old.

Size: Bar-Headed Geese are mid-sized geese, measuring between 28 and 30 inches in length. They weigh between 4 and 7 pounds.

Housing Requirements: Bar-Headed Geese require a rather large body of water to swim and forage in. If your birds are not pinioned, they will be able to fly away, so an enclosure or aviary netting will also be necessary. Their natural instinct directs them to retreat to the water if danger appears. Although these are hardy birds, some winter shelter should be available to them in areas with harsh winters.

Diet: Bar-Headed Geese are mostly vegetarians, although they do eat some insects and crustaceans especially during breeding season. They also eat grains and do well on a waterfowl or game bird feed.

Miscellaneous Notes: Bar-Headed Geese are one of the most amazing flyers in the bird world. According to recent studies described in Scientific American Magazine, Bar-Headed Geese are the highest flying birds. They can fly at an altitude of 29,500 feet, which is almost as high as a commercial planes. They also can fly across the Himalayan mountain range in eight hours!

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Bar-Headed Geese

Bar-Headed Geese

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