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Spur-winged Goose | Plectropterus gambensis

The Spur-winged Goose is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Anatidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ducks, Geese.

The description for the Spur-winged Goose (Latin name Plectropterus gambensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Plectropterus gambensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 116 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 95. You will find a picture of the Spur-winged Goose on page 97.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Spur-winged Goose between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Spur-winged Goose is known in Afrikaans as Wildemakou.

The Spur-winged Goose has a height of 98 cms and weighs around 5100 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured pink. The Plectropterus gambensis has a white coloured throat, pink legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Plectropterus gambensis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is pink

Legs are pink

Throat is white

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Spur-winged Goose is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 7 to 14 eggs and they are coloured ivory.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The Spur-winged Goose is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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