Egyptian Goose Fact File

Alopochen aegyptiacus

Credit: Copyright. The Animal Facts.








Wild 15 years

Captive 30 years



Grass, Berries

Conservation Status


Least Concern

The Sacred Goose of Africa!

The Egyptian goose was considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians but today is best known as an ornamental bird which has established invasive populations in a number of countries.

These animals are herbivores which will feed on grass, berries and more.

They will give birth in a nest which is formed from reeds, leaves and grasses. On occasion they have been seen to take the nest of other birds.

Egyptian geese are threatened through hunting and persecution due to a perception they are an agricultural pest.

Read on to learn more about these beautiful birds.


What does the Egyptian Goose look like?

Egyptian geese are a pale buff color on their chest, the back has brown, dark orange, black and white feathers. Around the eyes is a chocolate color patch.

In captivity an albino strain of this species is kept.

The beak is pink on the top and the underside is black. Their legs are long and pink.

The Egyptian goose measures 63-73cm (24.8-28.8in) long. The wingspan of an Egyptian goose is 134-154cm (52.8-60.6in) across. An average weight for one of these geese is 1.1-1.4kg (2.4-3.1lbs). Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.


How does the Egyptian Goose survive in its habitat?

While the coloration of the Egyptian goose may appear bright it helps to blend in with their environment. This helps to camouflage them against detection by predators.

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What does the Egyptian Goose eat?

Egyptian geese are herbivores. Their diet will include grasses, stems, berries and seeds as well as a range of other plants. Algae and aquatic plants also form a portion of their diet.

At times they have also been known to feed on insects and some small animals.

Learn more about the Egyptian Goose in this video from Robert Wedderburn on YouTube


Where do you find the Egyptian Goose?

Africa is the native home of the Egyptian goose. Here they can be found in the following countries - Angola; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Eswatini; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Lesotho; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia and Zimbabwe.

They are considered to have gone extinct in Israel.

Many introduced populations also exist. These can be found in Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and the USA. Populations have also been reported in New Zealand.


Where can the Egyptian Goose survive?

They prefer an open, wetland area to live in though they will live in pretty much every habitat. The only habitats which they avoid are deserts and densely forested areas.

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)

Credit: Copyright. The Animal Facts.


How does the Egyptian Goose produce its young?

They have a variable breeding season which depends on location. Generally it is the end of spring or the end of the dry season.

Males will use their loud honk in attempts to attract a mate.

The Egyptian geese pair will build a nest from reeds, leaves and grass. This is then lined with down. This nest may be built on an embankment, cliffs, buildings, caves and a range of other spaces. These geese have also been known to take the nest of another bird.

The parents are fiercely territorial of the nest and may kill other pair’s chicks to gain resources for theirs. The clutch of eggs is generally 5-12 eggs which are a creamy white color. These eggs are incubated for 28-30 days with both parents taking turns at sitting on the nest.

At hatching the chicks are born with white and brown fluffy down. The chicks fledge at 60-75 days old.

The Egyptian goose achieves maturity at 2 years of age.


What does the Egyptian Goose do during its day?

The Egyptian goose lives in a small family flock for the year. They come together in groups for the breeding season.

Mostly non-migratory these birds will generally only move about if there is a shortage of water in their area.

While adept at swimming these birds will generally spend most of their time on land.

Males emit a raspy hiss when threatened. Females let out a loud cackle. These sounds are what researchers use to determine the sex of these animals.

These birds are active by day and at night seek out a tree in which to roost.

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)

Credit: Copyright. The Animal Facts.

Predators and Threats

What stops the Egyptian Goose from surviving and thriving?

Natural predators of the Egyptian goose include cats such as lions and cheetahs, hyenas, crocodiles and birds of prey such as vultures.

Populations of the Egyptian goose are considered to be in decline.

In some parts of their range they are considered an agricultural pest and may be shot or poisoned. In other areas they are hunted for sport. Some are also taken for food.

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Quick facts

The Egyptians believed these geese were sacred. As such they regularly featured in their artworks.

This species was first described for modern science in 1766.

These animals are the only living member of their genus, Alopochen. A number of recently extinct or prehistoric species are also included in this genus.

While called a goose this species is actually a shelduck. These animals are somewhere between a goose and a duck.

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)

Credit: Copyright. The Animal Facts.


BirdLife International. 2018. Alopochen aegyptiacaThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22679993A131910647. Accessed on 08 January 2022.

The RSPB. 2022. Egyptian Goose Facts | Alopochen Aegyptiaca - The RSPB. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 January 2022].

Tattan, A. 2004. "Alopochen aegyptiaca" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 08, 2022 at

British Waterfowl Association. 2022. Egyptian Goose - British Waterfowl Association Species account for the Egyptian Goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca.. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 January 2022]. 2022. Oakland Zoo. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 January 2022].

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