Description of black goose
The Black Goose (international name for the bird Branta Bernicia) is a waterfowl from the family of ducks of the Anseriformes order. It is listed in the Red Book. This is the smallest representative of her species in size: it is smaller than a goose in size. The maximum weight of an adult goose can reach 8 kg. Young birds have characteristic white spots on their wings.
These Anseriformes love the cool climate. Their habitats are Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. Also seen birds in Yakutia, France and even on the British Isles. Winged animals were observed on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and in Japan. In particular, Honshu and Hokkaida. There are also black geese in Russia. This waterfowl lives near the Arctic Ocean.
During migration, the birds stop in shallow marine waters, and fly away to winter in Asia or North America. Anseriformes usually fly along the coast. There are geese in the winter quarters and in the North Sea. Inhabitants of eastern places fly closer to the coasts, and birds from colder regions, on the contrary, migrate through continental areas, adhering to river valleys. These anseriformes live in packs, this is due to the fact that they are poorly protected from predators, despite their rather violent nature.
The appearance of a goose
The weight of the bird is from 1.5 to 2.2 kg, its length is about 60 cm, the wingspan is from 110 to 120 cm. The black geese got its name due to the saturated black color. But the body of the bird is partially covered with feathers of black color, mainly it's back and neck. Paws and beak are also in black. The color of the wings ranges from gray to dark brown. The belly and sides are lighter than the general color, softly turning into a white undertail.
A distinctive feature of this species is also an uneven white strip on the neck. Males and females do not outwardly differ from each other. The only possible difference is size. A longer wing span is observed in the male and it is usually much larger than the female.
Geese feel great on land and are not lost in case of danger. Oddly enough, they do not know how to dive, but they can perfectly get food from the bottom, like ducks lowering their heads down and floating up with their tail up.
Breeding and feeding poultry
Black geese begin to breed in June. The mating season lasts 3 months. Like swans, they create one pair for life. This is accompanied by a beautiful ritual of courtship, during which birds take special poses. When the couple took place, a kind of ceremony takes place, confirming consent and fastening the union. The ritual begins with the imaginary attacks of the enemy, then the geese are placed in horizontal poses and begin to shout in turn. The male makes one scream, and the female answers him with two. The ritual in water ends when the couple takes turns dipping into the water. These gestures serve not only as courtship, it is a kind of communication language. In total, there are from 6 to 11 poses for the transmission of information.
During the breeding season, black birds gather in small colonies: it is more convenient for them to defend themselves from large predators, but nest in separate pairs, north of other representatives of the geese, closer to the Arctic tundra. They prefer not only the sea coasts, but also the lower reaches of rivers, a place with moistened tundra with very sprouted herbs. Stein prefer to nest if they live on the plain or in the rocky tundra. Anseriformes lining their nests with the help of moss, fluff or grass, making it so that a small indentation appears. Geese build them in alienated places along the shore of water bodies. The female produces from 3 to 5 eggs per clutch. The hatching process lasts up to a month: an average of 24-26 days.
The male will not leave his female while hatching eggs. The fluff of the chicks is gray. After the offspring hatched from the egg, after literally 2-3 hours, the chick can independently fly out of the nest. Parents accompany their children to the nearest reservoir, feed and guard them for six weeks. During this period, adults begin to molt and temporarily lose their ability to fly. The chicks remain with their parents until the next breeding season. Chicks reach puberty 2 years after birth, sometimes later. Young birds and those individuals that for some reason could not nest, knock together in a flock separate from the "parents" and also molt.
Geese nutrition and their external enemies
Eating black geese is very diverse, it consists mainly of plant foods, but winged can eat small fish and crustaceans.
- In summer, the goose’s diet includes herbs, moss, lichen, and aquatic vegetation.
- In winter, birds feed on seaweed.
- Also in the diet are juicy young stems, cereals, sedge leaves from the tundra.
Diet depends on the season and habitat. During migrations, birds accumulate fat and easily switch from one type of feed to another.
Black Goose is considered a long-liver. In nature, her age can reach 28 years, in captivity, this figure is almost doubled. The maximum age is 40 years.
Enemies of this species have enough, including gulls, fishes, Arctic foxes and brown bears. Fishes and seagulls like to feast on the eggs of geese and even steal chicks. When the geese notice the enemy, they stretch their necks forward, open their wings and begin to hiss. Unfortunately, she does not always manage to save the offspring. In order to somehow protect their chicks, a black geese nests near the nesting places of birds of prey, such as owls, peregrine falcons, buzzards. This provides the goose with safety: they do not hunt near their nests, and small predators like the arctic fox do not risk approaching the clutches of birds of prey. Thus, babies of geese significantly increase their chances of survival.
Geese adapt well to life in captivity. Their diet should be as diverse as possible. It must include vegetable and fruit crops, as well as plant foods in large quantities. Germinated grain will be very useful for young individuals. As a feed, you can safely add feed and a variety of granules intended for birds floating on water.
These anseriformes breed well in captivity. They get along well in the aviary with other waterfowl such as ducks and swans. The main thing is that in the aviary, anseriforms have constant access to water. It is desirable that the reservoir occupies at least 20% of the area of the home. Waterfowl tolerate frosts well and do not need closed pens, but a canopy in the aviary is necessary.
In the mating season, the couple is placed in a separate aviary, as the male becomes aggressive.
These birds are very friendly and trusting, which affects the reduction of the population of the species.
What is the number of mysterious birds
These Anseriformes are listed in the Red Book. This is due to the fact that their natural habitats and migration were disturbed. Numerous attacks of predators and the defeat of clutches also influenced this process. A similar situation occurred in the north, where geese winter. Northerners, accustomed to hunting anseriformes, also contributed to the extermination of the species. Birds are caught, fattened, and then slaughtered. Wild bird meat has a specific marine odor in order to remove it; black geese are slaughtered only after being fed with grain.
To date, measures have been taken to preserve the species. The habitats of individuals, as well as places of migration have become reserves. There is a multi-year ban on hunting goose. There is an article for the illegal shooting of anseriformes with all the ensuing consequences. All these measures undoubtedly contributed to an increase in the number of birds, but compared with the last century, the population is still negligible, therefore, to prevent the extinction of this species of Anseriformes.