Saturday, April 18, 2015

Domestic Swan Goose

Domestic Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides) with Ducklings/Gooselings?

I'm very curious about what's going on here. I know ducks, geese, and swans sometimes interbreed, but do they do it within the same species, or do they interbreed with any other close species? This photo, taken at Crescent Lake Park in St Petersburg, FL, has me very confused. This goose appears to be swimming with ducks, as you can see, some are white, some look like immature mallards. Are they hers? Do they just hang around together?

This lake supports so many species. There are Domestic Graylag Geese, these Domestic Swan Geese, Mallards, Moorhens, Grebes, American Coots, just to name some of the waterfowl. There are probably more than I spotted on my two trips there as well. I'm just curious about how some of these breeds got there and if they all interbreed. If you live in the area, check it out.

Here is a little info gleaned from the internet about the Domestic Swan Goose:
Domestic Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides)

Another species of goose that has been domesticated is the Swan Goose, native to eastern Eurasia and sometimes called a Chinese goose. A domestic swan goose usually has a large knob at the base of the bill (the wild form lacks this). It also can show a white patch behind the bill.  It varies from wild type coloring (mostly gray with a dark line down the back of the otherwise white neck) to pure white.


Swan GooseThe Swan Geese (Anser cygnoides) -- also known as Chinese Geese - are rare, migratory geese that breed in inland Mongolia, northernmost China, and southeastern Russia; and most migrate to central and eastern China for the winter.

Vagrants travel to Japan and Korea for the winter and, on rare occasions, may winter in Kazakhstan, Laos, coastal Siberia, Taiwan, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

Outside the breeding season, they form small flocks. They rarely swim and often forage far from the water.

The large Swan Geese have also been introduced to countries outside their natural range, where feral populations of escaped or released domesticated birds have established themselves.
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