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Species: A. anser
Binomial name: Anser anser
A. a. anser (Linnaeus, 1758)
Western Greylag Goose
A. a. rubrirostris Swinhoe, 1871
Eastern Greylag Goose
A. a. domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758)
The Greylag Goose (also spelled Graylag in the United States), Anser anser, is a bird with a wide range in the Old World. It is the type species of the genus Anser.
It was in pre-Linnean times known as the Wild Goose ("Anser ferus"). This species is the ancestor of domesticated geese in Europe and North America. Flocks of feral birds derived from domesticated birds are widespread.
The Greylag Goose is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
Within science, the greylag goose is most notable as being the bird with which the ethologist Konrad Lorenz first did his major studying into the behavioural phenomenon of imprinting.
The Greylag is the largest and bulkiest of the grey Anser geese. It has a rotund, bulky body, a thick and long neck, and a large head and bill. It has pink legs and feet, and an orange or pink bill. It is 74 to 91 cm (29 to 36 in) long with a wing length of 41.2 to 48 cm (16.2 to 19 in). It has a tail 6.2 to 6.9 cm (2.4 to 2.7 in), a bill of 6.4 to 6.9 centimetres (2.5 to 2.7 in) long, and a tarsus of 7.1 to 9.3 centimetres (2.8 to 3.7 in). It weighs 2.16 to 4.56 kg (4.8 to 10.1 lb), with a mean weight of around 3.3 kg (7.3 lb). The wingspan is 147 to 180 cm (58 to 71 in). Males are generally larger than females, with the sexual dimorphism more pronounced in the eastern subspecies rubirostris, which is larger than the nominate subspecies on average.
The plumage of the Greylag Goose is greyish-brown, with a darker head and paler belly with variable black spots. Its plumage is patterned by the pale fringes of its feathers. It has a white line bordering its upper flanks. Its coverts are lightly coloured, contrasting with its darker flight feathers. Juveniles differ mostly in their lack of a black-speckled belly.
It has a loud cackling call, HOOOOOONK!, like the domestic goose.
Distribution and habitat
This species is found throughout the Old World, apparently breeding where suitable localities are to be found in many European countries, although it no longer breeds in southwestern Europe. Eastwards it extends across Asia to China. In North America there are both feral domestic geese, which are similar to greylags, and occasional vagrants.
In Great Britain their numbers have declined as a breeding bird, retreating north to breed wild only in the Outer Hebrides and the northern mainland of Scotland. However during the 20th century, feral populations have been established elsewhere, and they have now re-colonised much of England. The breeding habitat is a variety of wetlands including marshes, lakes, and damp heather moors.
In Norway, the number of greylag geese is estimated to have increased three- to fivefold during the last 15?20 years. As a consequence, farmers' problems caused by goose grazing on farmland has increased considerably. This problem is also evident for the pink-footed goose.
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- [2012-03-28 4:05]
just perfect moment!
- [2012-03-28 4:09]
What a perfect simmetry,it seems a capy and paste,the same position is fantastic! Great in flight capture whit super sharpness and details,a very professional work! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
I like this in-flight unison of the couple. The underside of the lower bird is quite vivid too.
- [2012-03-28 8:04]
Prachtige timing zo met die vleugels in elkaars verlengde. Mooie natuurlijke kleuren en uitstekende scherpte. Prima compositie.
Er vliegen er hier ook duizenden van rond.
Impressive photo Thijs! Perfect timing, very good composition, nice soft lighting and great sharpness!
- [2012-03-28 12:37]
The sharpness and detail of the subject is very good. The clear BG also helps in not distrating from the subject. Composition, POV and Lighting are well done.
Best regards Siggi
- [2012-03-30 7:24]
very nice moment in giving this pair a lovely view. The sharpness of the feathers is well composed here. How the softness of the sky add another beautiful dimension in your presentation.