Abyssinian Blue-Winged Goose

Abyssinian Blue-Winged Goose



COMMON NAME: Abyssinian blue-winged goose, blue-winged goose
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
ORDER: Anseriformes
FAMILY: Anatidae
GENUS SPECIES: Cyanochen (dark blue goose) cyanopterus (dark blue feathers)


DESCRIPTION: This is a tall bird with brown body. Blue-winged geese are lighter brown around the head and breast regions and darker brown on wings and back. The upper wing converts are powder blue.
SIZE: Approximately 60-75 cm (24-30 in.) tall; wingspan 32.5-37.5 cm (13-15 in.)
WEIGHT: Approximately 1.52 kg (3.3 lbs)
DIET: Feeds on grasses and other green parts of various plants; insects and small reptiles
INCUBATION: 30-35 days
CLUTCH SIZE 4-7 eggs
SEXUAL MATURITY: About 2 years
LIFE SPAN: No data
RANGE: Ethiopia
HABITAT: Found in marshes, streams and damp grasslands
POPULATION: GLOBAL Estimated at 5,000-15,000 individuals
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Not listed
USFWS Lower risk/near threatened


1. During courtship, the male struts around the female, his head bent over his back, and his bill pointed skywards or behind him. Such posture exposes his blue wing patch. He communicates with the female with a barely audible whistle "wnee-whu-whu-whu-whu-whu-whu-whu".
2. Local religious beliefs have protected this bird from hunting.
3. The Abyssinian portion of their name comes from Abyssinia, the historical name for Ethiopia.
4. It is believed that the Abyssinian blue-winged goose's closest relative is the Andean goose.


These birds are nocturnal, which perhaps explains why so little is known about the species. While little is known as with any species with a limited range its populations are vulnerable to human intrusion and habitat loss.

Large waterfowl like the Abyssinian blue-winged goose are essential to the balance of the ecosystem, by keep bodies of water clear by eating aquatic plants as well as being a prey item for larger carnivores.


Scott, P. A Colored Key of the Wildfowl of the World. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.

Todd, F.S. Natural History of Waterfowl. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.