Harteman Wildfowl Aviaries | educating since 1998

Magpie goose

Anseranas semipalmata

Ekstergans / Spaltfußgans / Oie semi-palmeé

The magpie goose is the only species of the subfamily of Anseranatinae. These primitive stiltwalkers live near the water in Australia, but they don't often swim. They hardly have any webs contrary to other geese species. The magpie goose doesn't have an eclips moult but loses its quills divided over the year, so that it can fly all year round. Magpie geese often find a high branch to sleep on. They are quite a typical species of geese. The fact that people have doubted whether they were geese or ducks appears is clear from the two names in the scientific name: 'Anser' stands for goose and 'Anas' stands for duck. The geese lay 1 upto 16 eggs which will hatch after 26-30 days. Ring them when they are 21 days old with footrings of 16 milimeters.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 1,000,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.


Magpie geese 

Above: adult pair, male in front



Above: Magpie goose egg and measurement in mm. 



Above: magpie gosling, a few days of age


Magpie goose 

Above: one year old female


Magpie goose 

Above: one year old female


Magpie goose 

Above: adult male Magpie goose



Above: handling an adult male Magpie goose in Vogelpark Avifauna

Photo by Jente Ottenburghs



Above: magpie goose at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, UK



Boven: close-up of adult magpie goose


Above: a pair of 2 year old magpie geese in aviculture.

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