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Ashy-headed Goose

From Opus

Photo © by Luis R Figueroa San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, 4 December 2018
Photo © by Luis R Figueroa
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, 4 December 2018
Chloephaga poliocephala


[edit] Identification

Photo © by Rodrigo Reyes Baker river, Patagonia, Chile, 10 December 2007
Photo © by Rodrigo Reyes
Baker river, Patagonia, Chile, 10 December 2007

Length: 50-55cm. (19¾-21¾ in.)

  • Pale brown back
  • Chestnut neck
  • Black-barred white flanks
  • Grey head

Sexes similar, except that the male may have less or no barring on the underparts. Females average smaller.

  • Immature birds are duller and have brown heads.

[edit] Flight

White wing shows black primaries, and a broad green bar.

[edit] Distribution

Southern South America: found in southern Argentina and southern Chile to Tierra del Fuego. Migrates north in winter.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Damp upland forest clearings.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

The nest is close to water where trees are present. It may be on the ground in tall grass, at the base of a tree, or in a hole in log. Sometimes it is placed fairly high, up to four meters above the ground. The nest is lined with grass and covered with a second thick lining of down. Clutch of 4-6 creamy-white to pale brown eggs are laid.

[edit] Diet

They are mainly vegetarian, feeding on leaves, stems and seed heads of grasses and sedges. On the wintering grounds, they often graze on wheat, maize, sunflower and sorghum stubble.

[edit] Vocalisations

Male gives soft whistles and the female produces harsh cackling notes.

[edit] Movements

Partially migratory, moving north to winter in the pampas region to Buenos Aires province.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, August 31). Ashy-headed goose. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:50, January 18, 2019, from
  3. Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Ashy-headed Goose (Chloephaga poliocephala). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 January 2019).
  4. Ashy-headed Goose (Chloephaga poliocephala), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

[edit] External Links


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