Egyptian Geese

I regularly visit our local lake and another park with two small ponds. What do they have in common? All year long they are both inhabited by at least one couple of Egyptian Geese, which are normally endemic to the southern half of Africa. So what brings them up here?

Egyptian Geese have been hold captive in Europe since the eighteen hundreds and individuals were set free or escaped from time to time, resulting in a small group of wild individuals. Starting in 1970, a fast expansion of these animals occurred along the river Rhine, which also led to a well-maintained population in Germany. Even more so, they continue to spread around Europe and take over urban areas. They can be rather aggressive, especially towards mallard ducks, and seem to have found an environment that favors their species. Sometimes they even displace larger birds from their nests and breed there themselves.

One couple in our city just had its second litter this year, which seems rather odd given that temperatures are dropping rapidly. Maybe the warm autumn mislead their instinct.

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