We are casual raisers of a few domesticated geese ... Toulouse, Emdens,
Not counting a number of domestic varieties and hybrids, I'm aware of
three general "look-a-likes" that include the wild progenitor Swan Goose
of eastern Asia ... the "Chinese Goose" and the "African Goose" being
the other two. Non-breeders of these geese readily confuse the names
and the geese. An easy distinguishing feature, I believe, is that the
wild Swan Goose has a much more prominent and heavier bill than do the
Chinese Goose and African Goose. I believe the bill of the Swan Goose
is always black. Birds depicted as African and Chinese geese often have
black bills, whereas others have orange bills. Maybe someone out there
knows more about this aspect.
We've raised Africans, who when they breed with our all white Embdens
yield a color pattern similar to the Africans but with subdued colors.
When the Africans have bred with our Toulouse (non-dew lap variety) the
offspring are a simple combination of color traits. Our African males
had both the forehead knob and a dew-lap; none of our few cross-breeds
developed these features.
Does anyone know if the wild Swan Goose male has the forehead knob found
on male Chinese and African geese? I've not seen a picture of a male
wild Swan Goose with the knob.
The pale goose with an orange bill and partial head knob (so probably a
male) photographed by Maeve Kim at Button Bay on March 17th alongside a
Canada Goose (perhaps a female) looks to me like a domestic hybrid with
some Chinese Goose ancestry ... though I'm certainly not an expert on
all kinds of domestic geese. I don't have any idea if this goose is the
same goose seen in the vicinity of the Ruddy Shelduck. Perhaps there
are other photos of that "mystery goose" out there.
Perhaps next year's mystery goose will have some traits of Canada Goose
suki russo wrote:
> Very Cool!! and remember when a few birders saw a "mystery goose" along with the ruddy. We saw a domestic Swan goose today and it fits the description of the "mystery goose" perfectly!
> JoAnne Russo
> Saxtons River, VT
> From: Jim Mead <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Wed, March 31, 2010 4:43:10 PM
> Subject: [VTBIRD] Ruddy Shelduck relocated
> I was heading west on Little Chicago Road in Ferrisburgh. I went around the
> 90 degree bend and was then heading north. On the west side of the road
> was a group of Canada Geese (300+). I found a Ruddy Shelduck among them.
> This is "probably" the same one that Don Clark reported seeing in Westminster
> on 3/13, that Roy Pilcher reported seeing at Button Bay on 3/17 and the same
> one that Greg Askew reported seeing at Button Bay on 3/18. Even though this
> is most likely a domestic or an escapee, it is a handsome bird nonetheless.
> There were also 2 Snow Geese with them as well as a few Mallards and
> American Black Ducks. I was there at 12:28 p.m.
> Enjoy Birds,
> Jim Mead