|Copyright: Zahoor Ahmed (zahoor_salmi)
|Date Taken: 2010-03-26|
|Camera: Canon 40D, 400f5.6 L|
|Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds|
|Details: Tripod: Yes|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2010-04-06 3:02|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) is a goose which breeds in Central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes. It lays three to eight eggs at a time in a ground nest.|
The summer habitat is high altitude lakes where the bird grazes on short grass. The species has been reported as migrating south from Siberia via the Qinghai lake region in China before its crossing of the Himalaya. The bird has come to the attention of medical science in recent years as having been an early victim of the H5N1 virus, HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza), at Qinghai. It suffers predation from crows, foxes, ravens, sea eagles and others. The total population may, however, be increasing.
The Bar-headed Goose is one of the world's highest flying birds, having been seen at up to 10,175 m (33,382 feet). It has a slightly larger wing area for its weight than other geese and it is believed this helps the goose to fly high. Studies have found that they breathe more efficiently under low oxygen conditions and are able to reduce heat loss. The haemoglobin of their blood has a higher oxygen affinity than that of other geese.
The Bar-headed Goose migrates over the Himalayas to spend the winter in India, Assam, Northern Burma and the wetlands of Pakistan. It migrates up to Koonthankulam of Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu in the southern part of India. The winter habitat of the Bar-headed Goose is on cultivation where it feeds on barley, rice and wheat, and may damage crops. The bird can fly the 1000-mile migration route in just one day as it is able to fly in jet stream. 
The bird is pale grey and is easily distinguished from any of the other grey geese of the genus Anser by the black bars on its head. It is also much paler than the other geese in this genus. In flight, its call is a typical goose honking. The adult is 71–76 cm (28-30 in) and weighs 1.87-3.2 kg (4-7 lbs).
It has sometimes been separated from Anser, which has no other member indigenous to the Indian region, nor any at all to the Ethiopian, Australian, or Neotropical regions, and placed in the monotypic genus Eulabeia.
They nest mainly on the Tibetan plateau. Intraspecific brood parasitism is noticed with lower rank females attempting to lay their eggs in the nests of higher ranking females.
The Bar-headed Goose is often kept in captivity, as it is considered beautiful and breeds readily. Records in Britain are frequent, and almost certainly relate to escapes. However, the species has bred on several occasions in recent years and around five pairs were recorded in 2002, the most recent available report of the Rare Birds Breeding Panel. It is possible the species is becoming gradually more established in the UK. The bird is sociable and causes no problems for other birds. The wild population is believed to be declining due to over-hunting.
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