Gujarat: Egyptian Goose Spotted in Nadabet

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Gujarat: Egyptian Goose Spotted in Nadabet

| Updated: January 9, 2023 11:27

An Egyptian goose, a migratory bird, was spotted at Nadabet in the Kutch region of Gujarat recently. The bird (Alopochen aegyptiaca) — a member of the duck, goose, and swan family Anatidae — was spotted in a scoop of pelicans by Tejal Shah and Kunal Naik, both ornithologists.

This is probably the first time that an Egyptian goose has been spotted in the country as there is no record to show the bird’s presence in any part of India.

Shah and Naik were on a regular trip to the area when they spotted an odd bird in a group of pelicans. Shah took out her binoculars and a closer investigation revealed that the bird was actually an Egyptian goose. The bird is a native of Africa, south of the Sahara, and the Nile Valley. The Egyptian geese were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians and portrayed in many of their artworks.

The pale eyes surrounded by a dark patch, pink legs, and overall grey and buffy plumage are the key identifying features of the bird. Usually, these birds are found in pairs or family groups and feed while swimming or grazing along the shore.

The sexes of this species are identical in plumage but the males are slightly larger on an average.

This is a terrestrial species which will also perch readily on trees and buildings. Egyptian geese typically eat seeds, leaves, grasses, and plant stems. Occasionally, they will eat locusts, worms, or other small animals.

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