Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiaca

Non-native invasive


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

A handsome brown goose with chestnut and white patches, related to the shelduck, found in wetlands and parks

A native of North Africa introduced here as an ornamental waterfowl, it is now spreading rapidly across southern Britain

There are fears that it could hybridise or compete with native species, but so far no hard evidence of damage

Recognition

Pale brown body with darker back, and chestnut, white and green patches; red legs; length c. 70 cm

Distinctive dark brown eye patches and white wing patches in flight

Feed on grass and seeds

Lifecycle

Nests as early as January before other ducks and geese, in tree holes in gravel pits and in public parks with lakes

Lays clutches of up to ten eggs, hatching after four weeks

They escort their chicks to water, but usually many are lost to predation such as by crows

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton