Swan Goose

Anser cygnoid domesticus

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

Non-AOU

Code 6

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The domestic Swan Goose is descended from the wild Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides) native to central and eastern Asia. Since its domestication approximately 2000 years ago, it has spread worldwide because of its popularity among farmers. Urban and suburban feral populations are being established frequently when owners abandon individuals in parks. The range size and population is unknown, and since it is a domestic species, it is not on the IUCN list.

SUMMARY

Overview

Swan Goose: Very large goose with three general color morphs: dark, intermediate, and white but all have large knobs on the forehead that distinguish it from the wild populations in Asia. The white morph is Solid white all over and has an orange bill. The dark morph has brown-gray upperparts, buff underparts, a chocolate brown hindneck, and a black bill. The intermediate morph is similar in pattern to the dark morph but the colors are lighter overall and the bill is frequently orange. Feeds on grasses, seeds, leaves, and often food brought by humans. Direct flight with strong wingbeats but domestic birds rarely fly.


Range and Habitat

Swan Goose: Native to southeast Russia, northern China, and Mongolia. Winters is eastern and central China and the Korean peninsula. This species has been domesticated and introduced outside of its native range, and feral populations of repeated or escaped birds occur in scattered locations across the United States as introduced or feral birds. Habitat includes areas with fresh or brackish water. Breeds in marshy or grassy areas and in reed beds. Found in drier areas in the winter.

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Swan Goose SONGS AND CALLS

Swan Goose_20190322_PF_XC435026_02.mp3

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

Honks, "ga-ga-ga-ga", "gangangan", "aang"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Birds matching the description of the domestic Swan Goose have been variously named African Goose, Chinese Goose, Knob-headed Goose, Muscovian Goose, Guinea Goose, and Indian Mountain Goose, among many others.
  • Domestic Swan Geese, domestic Greylag Geese and Canada Geese readily hybridize, making for some very interesting feature combinations.
  • Louis XIV and Louis XV of France, George Washington, and Daniel Webster are known to have kept domestic Swan Geese.
  • One of the earliest written accounts of the domestic Swan Goose dates to the 1300s. During his time in Asia, Friar Ordoric of Pordenone wrote in his journal about white geese with large knobs on their heads and a large dewlaps.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
HindneckX
Also called the nape and collar, it is the back of the neck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X