Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 101 - Cape Barren Goose

I spent most of this Sunday down on Phillip Island - which is about 2 hours (give or take the traffic) east of Melbourne.  When I catch up, I'll do a full post about the trip over on my wordy blog - but for now, I just show some pictures.

The Cape Barren Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) is a true goose - although some books describe it as "an aberrant one" - i.e. not really typical of the birds we call geese.  This is a substantial bird, weighing in at about 4 - 6 kg.  Every time I see them I am surprise they were not eaten into extinction in the early colonial period of Australian history.

The males and females are very similar - but the female sits on the nest which is a bit of a give away some times.

When ever I watch geese of any kind feeding I can't help but think of them as flying cows - large, slow moving, grass eating herbivores.

The name Cape Barren seems to have come from the Island of the same name, which lies between Tasmania and the mainland - although it only seems to have become popular as a name when sealers started to use the island.  I can only assume that was bad news for both the seals and the geese.

Male
Female - on nest

eating grass 


Now its over to you for WBW 101!



51 comments:

  1. wow! i like their spotted plumage, tiny bills and big, thick pink legs! neat!

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  2. Beautiful goose. Love the plumage!! Has the plumage of a Mourning Dove.

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  3. I love what mother nature does with monochromatic - look at all those beautiful feathers and shades!

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  4. A beautiful bird. I can't get over the short, stocky legs! Nature is amazing.

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  5. Stewart. Thanks for sharing what I believe is still one of the worlds' rarest Geese that was close to extinction in the 1950's.

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  6. Such a stunning bird! Lovely
    photos, ….. I've never seen The Cape Barren Goose before.

    Eva Jorunn Norway

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  7. They are beautiful birds, but hefty--I agree, I'm surprised they survived the colonization period! :-) They remind me of prehistoric birds in their form. Still, so lovely!

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  8. Cool birds.

    Look like gigantic doves, with that gray plumage and pink legs.

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  9. Wow! They are big and beautiful! I've never seen one of these! Great captures for the day, Stewart! Hope your week is going well!!

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  10. Beautiful birds. I like the soft grey colour.

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  11. OMW What BEAUTIFUL birds. Each image delivers another feature which is so striking. Thanks for sharing. I'm linking my post tomorrow. greetings. Jo

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  12. Great looking!! Boom, Bobbi and Gary.

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  13. It is rather a "chunky" beast but very attractive Stewart. And like you say it must have been a target for a square meal in the past. You don't say if this particular bird is truly wild, but if so is something of a "sitting goose" to further question its long term survival against man.

    Thanks again for the shares with the bird bloggers of the world.

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  14. What an interesting bird! I love the feathers on this goose. New bird for me as well.....again:)

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  15. Interesting looking bird. Nice photos!

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  16. Maybe they intimidated the colonists.

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  17. It is a pretty goose..I am surprised at the stocky legs.. Great shots..thanks for hosting. Have a happy week!

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  18. This is the first time I've heard of this one. A rather substantial bird and very stout legs!

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  19. They are a handsome, stocky looking goose. They don't quite look like the geese I am used to seeing, but there are some similarities. I do love their coloring ... the steely blue/gray. Are they common all over Australia or do you have to go to Phillip Island or Cape Barren Great pictures, Stewart ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  20. What beautiful geese, I love their plumage.

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  21. What a pretty bird! Their markings are really neat.

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  22. Wow, what a fascinating, plush-looking goose! Excellent photos, Stewart.

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  23. Love the orange legs! They kind of match the orange legs of the doves I posted!

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  24. They are beautiful creatures Stewart.

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  25. Wow, a 6KG Goose...bet that can give a painful nip.

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  26. Hi Stewart I have never seen this goose before. It looks like its head is too small for its body. they are beautiful. Thanks for hosting. Hope you are having a great week.

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  27. Hallo Stewart,
    Prachtige foto's van een interessant uitziende vogel.
    Foto 2 is mijn favoriet.
    Groetjes Irma

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  28. Chunky looking for sure. Meaty! It is a wonder they've survived early settlers.

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  29. Really like the spotts. They look like they would be soft to the touch. Beautiful critters!

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  30. Splendid birds! Wish we had 'flying cows' in SoCal.

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  31. What a pretty Goose. Red legs and polka-dots. MB

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  32. Great capture. Love the pink "stockings" too. A nice contrast to its color.

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  33. That is an amazing looking goose - almost looks like it is crossed with pigeon :). Great shots Stewart

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  34. The heathers on this goose look three dimensional in your first photo! It is so clear and detailed!!!...:)JP

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  35. Great photos. It is a stocky looking bird. The plumage is really pretty.

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  36. Funny birds, the translated german name is chicken goose, maybe the translator understood something wrong. Nevertheless, a great bird and a great opportunity to observe them.

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  37. beautiful bird and plumage. hope all is well.

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  38. Their plumage really is quite beautiful. I love the way the feathers fall, almost like a Victorian lady's skirt!

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  39. She's a beauty. Her color and speckling remind me of our Mourning Dove.

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  40. He has an odd face... fun to see!

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  41. That is an amazing looking goose, not one I've heard of or seen pics of before, thanks for sharing.

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  42. I love all pictures... All shots are just outstanding...

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  43. Great goosie, goosie, gander shots!

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  44. She looks so pretty sitting on her nest. They really do like to browse like cattle.

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  45. Great pictures Stewart. Really like the second one on the nest.

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