Egyptian geese at Willow Park in Cypress. Native to sub-Saharan Africa and the Hile Valley, Egyptian geese also have established feral populations in California according to Wikipedia. Photo by James Wiedel.

Exotic visitors land at Willow Park in Cypress

Willow Park in Cypress has a “water feature” — a two-level pond that the City works hard to keep clean. Maintenance staff periodically drain the water and scrape out the crud.

The Park is home year-round to a flock of mallards and a few wild domestic ducks who share the pond with red-eared sliders (turtles) and seasonal visitors like Canada geese, widgeons, and coots.

This year, we spotted exotic visitors — Egyptian geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca), caught in the photo by James Wiedel featured at the top of this article. According to the Audubon Field Guide:

Native to Africa, this odd goose is popular in zoos and aviaries. Escaped birds have established wild populations in Florida, Texas, and California, and free-flying escapees are sometimes seen elsewhere.

(Emphasis added.)

According to Animalia, Egyptian geese are actually not geese but rather ducks:

The Egyptian goose – also known as the Nil goose – is named for its place of origin (being the Nile Valley in Africa) and is a large, very distinctive waterbird with conspicuous eye patches of dark chocolate-brown. The female resembles the male, though is smaller, often with darker markings on her beak. The genders can also be told apart by their calls, as the male makes a strong, hoarse hissing noise, while the female produces a harsh, trumpeting quack. Young Egyptian geese have a duller color and have a gray tinge on their forewings, and their crown and neck are darker, with yellowish legs and beak.

According to Oklahoma State University, the male can be “vicious” and the breed is a “flight risk” and does not do well in confinement:

The breed does only fairly well in confinement, and the ganders are too vicious to be associated with other fowls.Standard Weight: Gander: 10 lbs and Goose: 8 lbs

These fowl are mean and have a temper and should be undertaken by advanced fanciers. They are ornamental fowl with their plumage. They lay in one sitting up to 12 eggs and they hatch in 30-35 days.

Update: I was reminded to add that Muscovy ducks also share Willow Park.

1 Comment

  1. Interesting. Thank you for sharing.

Comments are closed.