The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Egyptian Goose

Afrikaans name: Kolgans

Egyptian Goose in flight

An Egyptian Goose in flight

Photo © Steven Herbert

Alopochen aegyptiacus

The Egyptian Goose was a sacred bird to the ancient Egyptians. They are found in the Nile River Valley and in sub-Saharan Africa. This 'goose' is actually a Shelduck.

It is an extremely common bird in many areas around South Africa. They adapt well to living near humans.

The Egyptian Goose is often found on land although they are good swimmers. They may be seen in trees or on buildings.

The pair nest in trees or in vegetation and the nest can be away from the water. They make excellent parents and defend their youngsters aggressively.

Egyptian Geese pair for life. The plumage of the male and female is identical. Males are slightly larger than females.

They mainly feed on vegetable material including farm crops. In some areas it is considered a pest and is hunted. Apart from vegetable material they also eat insects and worms.

Egyptian Goose chick - cute!

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Something cute - an Egyptian Goose gosling

Below - Something not so cute - a juvenile Egyptian Goose sprawled out on a lawn.


Fledgeling Egyptian Goose - not a pretty site!

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 46

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 38

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 32

Tracks and Tracking in Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2000 - Page: 39

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 6

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 34

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 44

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 133

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 83

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 72

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 5

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 76

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 82

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 61

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 88

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 57

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 44

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 3

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 88

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 35

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 408

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 64

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 46

Gamebirds and Waterfowl of Southern Africa - Author: CG Finch-Davies, Dr Alan Kemp - Published: 1986 - Page: 45

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 13

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 40

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 178

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 13

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 46

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 36

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 35

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 32

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 11

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 54

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 30

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 10

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 60

A coloured Key to the Wildfowl of the World - Author: Peter Scott - Published: 1957 - Page: 44

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 51

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 168

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 168

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