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Orinoco Goose

Neochen jubata

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About the Orinoco Goose

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Geographic Range:

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Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Neochen
Species: jubata

The Orinoco goose is named for one of the longest rivers in its South American habitat. This duck-sized goose can often be found perching in small trees, rather than swimming or flying like most geese. Males and females have identical plumage: a mottled, pale breast, neck, and head; blackish-green wings and tail; and a white rump. They do have different communication styles, however: the male goose’s call is a high-pitched whistling, while the female goose cackles.

Orinoco Goose Facts

Appearance:

The orinoco goose is a small, duck-sized goose that has orange feet and a mottled pale-colored breast, neck and head. Their long neck helps them reach taller plants (unlike most other ducks). Their bill is black and orange, and their wings and tail are blackish-green with a white rump. Both orinoco goose sexes are identical in plumage. Their webbed feet are useful for both terrestrial and aquatic use. Webbing allows the goose to walk on the muddy rainforest floor without getting its feet stuck, much like a snowshoe for humans.

Size:

  • Length:24-26 inches
  • Weight: 2.5-4 pounds

Diet:

Sedges, aquatic and terrestrial grasses, occasionally worms, insects and mollusks.

Behavior:

Male geese make a high-pitched whistling call, whereas females cackle.

Median Life Expectancy:

Unknown in the wild

Habitat/Range:

  • Range: Widespread east of the Andes in South America, east Colombia and Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, east Peru, and Bolivia.
  • Habitat: Inhabits marshes or forest lakes that have access to open savannah or woodlands. They're often found perching in smaller trees, but are rarely found swimming or flying, like most geese. They usually nests in hollow trees and only on occasion do they nest on the ground.

Fun Fact:

The Orinoco goose is named after one of the longest rivers in South America.