Spur-Winged Geese are testament to the saying, “you are what you eat’’. Spur-Winged Geese absorb poisons from toxic beetles they occasionally ingest, making their own flesh deadly to consume.
Amazing Facts About the Spur-Winged Goose
- The Spur-Winged Goose is the largest waterfowl found in Africa and the largest species of goose in the world.
- They are different to other geese because they have spurs (little spikey bits) on their wings which can sometimes be poisonous. They pick up the toxin from the Blister Beetle which is only found in certain parts of the goose’s habitat range.
- They are a social bird and can be found gathering in groups consisting of as many as 50 individuals.
- They are a quiet species, but may give a thin whistle in flight.
- Spur-Winged Geese are threatened by uncontrolled hunting. They are prized in traditional medicine in Nigeria.
Picture Credit: Dick Daniels
- Type: Bird
- Diet: Omnivore
- Lifespan: up to 20years
- Size: 30-45" (75-115cm) long
- Weight: 8.8-15lb (4–6.8kg)
- Scientific name: Plectropterus gambensis
- Habitat: wetlands near grasslands or arable land, including lakes, rivers, inland river deltas, marshes, swamps, flooded grasslands, pastures, reservoirs, farm impoundments.