Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bar-headed Goose - Streifengans

The Bar-headed Goose (Streifengans) is seldom misidentified given its light color and striking black horizontal bars against a white background on its head. Native to Central Asia, scattered populations live throughout Europe, whose ancestors were probably escapees from bird collectors who fancied this bird's beauty. One of the highest flying birds in the world, they are able to migrate at over 10,000 m, hitch a free ride on the jet stream, and complete a 1,000 mile trip in one day. Compared to other geese their wing span to weight ratio is relatively large and specially adapted blood lets them fly high at low oxygen levels. The geese pictured here were photographed in Munich's English Garden, where a local population lives year-round off of frequent bread hand-outs from the locals. I observed one bold bar-headed goose approach a woman who had bread, stand in front of her with its neck streched high, and comically stomp its feet on the ground as its way to ask for a hand-out. Click on any thumbnail for a screen-filling full-resolution detailed image.

See also: Mandarin Duck - Mandarinente


Kelly said...

...beautiful bird...interesting narration.

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