Goose: Andean goose
Large inaccessible populations occur in the wild and are considered of least concern by the IUCN scientists.
Grazing on grasses around lakeside edges and aquatic plants around the margins this goose is predominantly an herbivore
As its name suggest this a wetland bird that lives around lakes high up in the Andes over 3000 metres above sea level.
This is a large heavy goose that prefers to walk in preference to swimming or flying. Out of breeding season they occur in small flocks.
They nest on bare ground adjacent to lakes laying between 6 -10 eggs where it becomes aggressively territorial. A 30 day incubation period is undertaken solely by the female with the cock bird standing adjacent guard.
Due to the high altitude it lives at this goose has developed a mutation in its haemoglobin allowing more oxygen to be absorbed.
This goose does not swim well as it is so heavy (3kgs+) and the breast sinks low into the water with the tail high up in the air when they do!
At The Zoo
Our Andean geese are exhibited in with our ibis and cranes. Easily seen and heard as they are a predominantly white sheldgoose with a red bill and orange legs which make a unique cackling whistle to stay in touch with each other.