Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 217 - Magpie Goose

After I posted this image last week, a number of people asked what the birds were and what they looked like.

Well, the birds Magpie Geese (Anseranas semipalmata).  The magpie comes from their black and white colour - almost anything in Australia that is black and white is called a 'Magpie' something.  The Goose come from the way it looks!  The semipalmata of the scientific name refers to the fact the these birds only have half webbed feet.

That feature, and a few others, mean that this species is a bit of a loner in the world of classification - there are no other birds in the genus Anseranas  and in fact this is the only genus in its family as well.  Which leads to the type of conclusion that I love, where the Magpie Goose is neither a Magpie nor a Goose!  (And its not a big duck either!)

Anyway, this bird used to be widespread in SE Australia, but it now only really common in Northern Australia. The large knob on the head of some of these birds show that they are males.







The bird in the last image is a juvenile bird - and does not yet have the white neck of the adult.

As you will probably know you can join in with WBW by clicking the blue button below. 


31 comments:

Sharon Wagner said...

What a face!

Brian King said...

I've never seen these geese before. Very unique looking!

Findlay Wilde said...

A really interesting bird to see. They look slightly pre-historic. Sorry I haven't linked up much over summer, but I was never at home much. Back in school again now though.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nicely depicted! They do look a bit odd. They set the taxonomists' heads spinning! Reminds me of or Muscovy Ducks which are something between a duck and a goose but belong to neither group.

NatureFootstep said...

when I first saw this goose I thought that it was something wrong with it. :) So different from the geese I am used to. But I learned to love it :) If I´m not wrong, this one can sit in a tree, ours never do that.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Neat. So they've receded thanks to those pesky, imported predators, huh. Man is killing species off as quickly as it can, ain't we.

Thanks for sharing.

Janice Adcock said...

You have taught me something again! As for the knob on the head I sort of thought it looked like a knuckle. Would that make it a knuckleheaded magpie goose?

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That knob Reminds me a little of the Muscovy ducks we have over here, which are an invasive but interesting water bird . Thanks for hosting and glad to be here for a change.

Chris Rohrer said...

OMG!!! Those are such dinosaur looking birds! This is a totally new bird for me. I had no idea that there was a goose-magpie combo! Cool!

Mosura said...

Great looking birds. Hard to belive that in years gone by vagrant Magpie Geese even reached Tasmania.

TexWisGirl said...

quite unique!

Liz said...

They are certainly interesting birds, Stewart! I did a post on Magpie Geese a while ago, including babies.

Margaret Adamson said...

Lovely images of this bird Stewart adn thanks for hosting

Anu said...

Very interesting text and great photos! I have never seen these birds.

Denise inVA said...

Fascinating birds Stewart. Their beaks at the tip remind me of a buzzard, a little bit.

photodoug said...

Stewart, what a phenomenal bird. Thanks for sharing.

Linda W. said...

Very interesting looking birds!

Andrea Priebe said...

What unique and beautiful birds ... they look like they could be translated into someething I have seen in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Do they behave as other geese do or do they have habits that set them apart as well. What a fun post. I am having a drought, so to speak, here. Most of my summer birds are gone, but the migrations haven't actually started yet, so I have to go out searching just to see a bird. Hopefully that is temporary :) Anyway, love that you are still managing to find interesting birds. They must be endless in Australia :0 Lucky you!

Andrea @ From the Sol

Prunella Pepperpot said...

Wonderful images of such cute looking geese. The males do look rather funny.
Have a great week :)

Missy George said...

A bit strange or unusual looking geese..Striking in their own way..Nice pictures.I have no birdies this week..Sorry

Linda said...

Neat looking geese! I am not familiar with these.

John eos shooter said...

Nice species! Gr. John

diane b said...

I like the magpie geese which are neither. We have them on our waterways sometimes here in Logan.

Rhodesia said...

Interesting post and thanks for the info. Cheers Diane

Ranten said...

Very interesting bird and pictures!

Beth said...

Unique looking birds.

Marie C said...

Not even a goose! It's such an interesting bird! Love the photos.

Lady Fi said...

Lovely shots.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart, sorry I'm late. Great shots of this unique looking bird which I had never heard of or seen before. Thank you for hosting, and have a good weekend.

baili said...

have not seen it ,well captured ,thank you for sharing the beauty of nature

Pat Tillett said...

Fantastic photos Stewart! Even better when enlarged!
I've not only never seen a Magpie Goose, I've never heard of them...