Swan Goose

Anser cygnoid domesticus

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

Non-AOU

Code 6

ITIS

Egg Color:

White



Number of Eggs:

5 - 6



Incubation Days:

28 - 34



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

On ground



Nest Material:

Grasses, leaves, mud, feathers, and bits of debris.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Swan Goose: Little is known about the breeding habits of the North American population. In its native Asian range, an average of 5-6 white eggs are laid in a shallow nest made of grasses and down. Preferred nest sites include thick vegetation and islands, but always by water. Incubation lasts 28-34 days and is carried out by the female while the male stands guard.

Foraging and Feeding

Swan Goose: More study is needed on habits in North America but probably similar to those in native range. Feeds on grasses, seeds, leaves, and since many populations are found in parks, also feeds on bread, corn, bird seed, and other foods brought by humans.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Millet, Sunflower Seed

Vocalization

Swan Goose: Common call is a series of loud, rising honks, "aang". May make repeated "ga-ga-ga" calls before flight, also makes low cackles. Warning is a barking honk.

Similar Species

Swan Goose: Unlikely to be confused with any other species in its range.

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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