Friday, March 8, 2013

Emperor Goose

Chen canagica
The Emperor Goose is an interesting looking. It sports grey feathers over most of its body, but has a bright white head and neck... only it's not the front of the neck (like you see in other birds), the white patch actually goes down the back side!

Emperor Geese are also unusual (for Geese) in that they don't live in very large flocks. They tend to stick to small family groups. They do migrate though, breeding further north and wintering further south... though they don't go very far overall-- the species is found only in Alaska and parts of Russia.

The Aleutian Islands are a popular spot for wintering birds, which makes them especially vulnerable. Because they all move to the same spots, an catastrophic events could spell doom for the Geese. They are currently listed as "Near Threatened," and a hunting ban has been put into place.

Emperor Geese feed on grasses and other plants, and they breed out on the open tundra. Females do all the incubating for the eggs (up to 7 at a time), but the males are responsible for protecting the nest from predators and from other male Geese.

IUCN Status : Near Threatened
Location : Russia, Alaska
Size : Length up to 27in (.7m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Anseriformes
Family : Anatidae -- Genus : Chen -- Species : C. canagica
Image : Sandy Cole

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