Abyssinian Blue-Winged Goose

Abyssinian Blue-Winged Goose

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Abyssinian blue-winged goose, blue-winged goose
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Anseriformes
Family
Anatidae
Genus Species
Cyanochen (dark blue goose) cyanopterus (dark blue feathers)

Fast Facts

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 to 75 cm (24 to 30 in.) tall; wingspan 32.5 to 37.5 cm (13 to 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 to 35 days
Clutch Size
4 to 7 eggs
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 2 years
Life Span
No data
Range
Ethiopia
Habitat
Found in marshes, streams and damp grasslands
Population
Global: Estimated at 5,000 to 15,000 individuals
Status 
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Lower risk/near threatened

Fun Facts

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."

Local religious beliefs have protected this bird from hunting.

The Abyssinian portion of their name comes from Abyssinia, the historical name for Ethiopia.

It is believed that the Abyssinian blue-winged goose's closest relative is the Andean goose.


Ecology and Conservation

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.


Bibliography

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.

http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/search/species_search.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=389&m=