View Full Version : I'm Quacking Up! Avian Dopers, Help!

Daithi Lacha
04-08-2009, 07:59 PM
We recently moved to a new place here in South Florida. Around us are several man-made ponds, a (mostly derelict) golf course and a canal that eventually joins the Atlantic with the Everglades. A number of waterfowl are present: herons, egrets, cranes, mallards, mandarin ducks and ... something else. A goose, I think. It's not native. It's driving me nuts. I assume it's terrestrial in origin, and that's about as far as I'll go.

So Dopers -- what is this waterfowl? (http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a309/daithilacha/DSCF0001.jpg) The adult is to the right of the photo, with the lighter plumage; its young are to the left. There seems to be three adults around, but I can't tell if it's two males and a female or vice-versa.


Ferret Herder
04-08-2009, 08:09 PM
My husband's guess (being a hunter of waterfowl in the past) is a crossbreed between Canadian (or some other wild) geese and domestic geese. (I know ducks can crossbreed, we're just assuming that geese can too.)

04-08-2009, 08:17 PM
Egyptian goose (http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/egyptian-goose:alopochen-aegyptiacus-photo-2490.html).

04-08-2009, 08:19 PM
And, from WikiAnswers: Are there any Egyptian Geese in Florida US? (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_there_any_Egyptian_Geese_in_Florida_US)

Ferret Herder
04-08-2009, 08:20 PM
Egyptian goose (http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/egyptian-goose:alopochen-aegyptiacus-photo-2490.html).
Huh. In Florida? Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at what non-native species get introduced there, or elsewhere.

Dr. Drake
04-08-2009, 08:20 PM
I'd guess domestic / wild hybrid as well, possibly with the greylag (since that's supposedly the ancestor species of domestic breeds: greylag is to barnyard goose as mallard is to barnyard duck). They're not native to the U.S. but apparently hybrid populations are becoming established.

ETA: Slow off the mark, as usual: the black patch on the stomach of the adult sure looks like the Egyptian Goose. But they could still be hybrids.

04-08-2009, 08:23 PM
Looks like an Egyptian Goose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Goose). My Sibley Guide to Birds says that there are small feral populations in California, so either your population is domesticated or they've become established in Florida as well.

Ferret Herder
04-08-2009, 08:24 PM
ETA: Slow off the mark, as usual: the black patch on the stomach of the adult sure looks like the Egyptian Goose. But they could still be hybrids.
Especially, I suspect, judging by the one that's mostly white. The markings on the others don't seem quite as strongly colored and distinct as the ones in the referenced photos of purebreds.

04-09-2009, 12:01 AM
I agree with Egyptian Goose.

Daithi Lacha
04-09-2009, 08:30 AM
Great stuff, thank you! Funny thing is, I did a google for "Waterfowl South Florida" and got the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation page. It did have an entry for Egyptian Goose, but no photo, so I paid it no mind.

Funnily enough, the FWC states:
This is probably the most commonly seen exotic goose species in the wild in Florida, but it rarely breeds successfully (Florida BBA). The sightings in Florida represent escapees.

Bolding mine. They should see our happy little brood down here - there must be seven ducklings (for it is not, in fact, a goose, but a shelduck) wandering around the neighborhood.

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