Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman
Males of this sturdy, large-headed species are bigger than females, but otherwise the sexes look alike. The geese feed on plant materials, such as roots, leaves, flowers and fruit.
There are two sub-species of this well known goose: the Eastern Greylag geese (Anser anser rubrirostris) and the Western Greylag geese (Anser anser anser). While the Western geese are common in European collections, no more than a few of the Eastern sub-species are kept. In the US the geese aren't popular at all. If you keep a pair of them you may notice that they are very watchful and can be very tame.
This species is the most southerly-breeding Northern goose. It is widespread in Europe and Asia, where they live on lowland-marshes and farmland. A nest of vegetation and twigs is made on the fround near a tree or bush or in reed beds. The 4 up to 8 eggs hatch in 28 - 29 days. The male helps to defend the goslings. Ringsize: 18 mm. Ring the goslings when these are 15 days old.
The global population is increasing, estimated to number c.1,000,000-1,100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at <c.100 breeding pairs and <c.50 wintering individuals in China and <c.10,000 breeding pairs in Russia (Brazil 2009). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
More information: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/100600378/0
Greylag geese are common in avicultural collections.
Above: Western greylag goose with goslings
Above: Breeding Western greylag goose at Sylvan Heights Bird Park.
Above: adult Eastern greylag goose, Anser anser rubrirostris