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Wild geese are considered as close relatives of swans and ducks. They live approximately in identical conditions, mastering natural reservoirs. Of course, distinguish both the sizes of a body, and appearance, and some lines of behavior from relatives of geese. Very strongly also species of these birds depending on the habitat differ. Some geese were cultivated and served as material for removal of many breeds of agricultural purpose.
To list places where there live geese, it is simple: they live in the tundra, in the north of Eurasia and the American continent. Actually these natatorial were evenly settled worldwide: they live both in the tundra, and in midlatitudes, and in the Equatorial Africa. Geese can be met also in South America, and in Australia.
They inhabit the most different biotopes. Some species of geese are preferred overgrown with reed or a bush of the coast of standing reservoirs and lakes. Are that, for example, gray – the ancestors of many house breeds. It is typical inhabitants of middle latitudes.
Northern versions live on open spaces of the treeless tundra. The black goose (the brent) nests even on Franz Josef Land where the most part of year everything is covered with ice and snow. It eats the moss and lichens growing on stones even in severe climate. But a basis of a diet of this sea goose are seaweed.
In savannas of Africa and dry steppes of Australia and Eurasia can meet the waterfowl strikingly different from habitual geese too. Some of them, such as African shportsevy and Australian semi-web-footed, remind small storks. These versions possess the harmonious tightened trunk and quite long legs. At semi-web-footed even the membrane between fingers is partially reduced.
These large birds (weight to 6 kg) in thickets on coast of reservoirs, and sometimes and on trees or high buildings as the Nile goose build the nests. The inhabitant of the east Siberian steppes, Chinese and Mongolian plains and mountainous areas – сухонос – can construct nests and on pebble shallows, and in reed or a bush.
Different types of wild geese live in various climatic zones. the Only thing that unites all ecosystems unlike at each other – proximity of reservoirs on which birds live and are fed.
Geese specially look, however many confuse them with swans. The basic, than the goose differs from a swan or a duck – neck length. At the last this part of a body seldom reaches at least a half of the size of a trunk. The goose neck can be length to ⅔ from its size. The swan has the biggest parameters of a neck – it sometimes even surpasses the sizes of his body, as at the black Australian representative of a sort.
Very much considerably geese differ from ducks and the structure of a beak. the Basis has it the big height, than width. At some types (сухонос, chicken) over a beak the outgrowth from soft fabrics is observed. The difference consists also in the form of the beak. Those who saw a duck or a drake close could note that this part of the head of a bird is flattened and has the characteristic hollow approximately in the middle. It gives to ducks a look constantly to something the smiling birds.
The beak of a goose has noticeable differences: its top part evenly decreases from a forehead to a tip, sometimes forming a small small hump. On the end there is a rigid tooth bent down which helps geese to pinch off even dense leaves of plants. On lateral faces small cloves are located.
But the beak of a goose serves not only for food of a bird. The skin deprived of sweat glands and dense plumage with down "heater" do not give the chance to cool a body when overheating therefore in hot time of day it is possible to see often how the goose with an open beak strenuously breathes, trying to reduce temperature of mucous membranes of an oral cavity and throat – dogs when to them hot also arrive. From time to time the bird closes a beak, doing several glotatelny movements. At the same time salivary glands become more active, moistening surfaces of mucous. Then the beak opens again.
Living in the village know how geese aggressively protect the posterity. In this way also wild fellows arrive: as the tool of attack serves the beak. The bird can sensitively pinch or hit the opponent menacing to her. Blows by wings supplement pinches, turning a large male into rather strong rival even for a predator of the size of a fox or a polar fox who like to regale on eggs and baby birds of geese.
Young females of mountain geese often enclose eggs in nests of the mothers. Gooses grandmothers quite favourably accept such liberty and bring "grandsons" together with own gooses. Baby birds of a female can be grown up and in common.
Coloring of birds most often patronizing, that is they look imperceptibly among that landscape in which live therefore tundra and mountain birds are more often black, white or combine these colors in coloring. A female on a nest or the geese sleeping on the open place look as the remains of the snow mixed with sites of the dark soil. Inhabitants of reed thickets have coloring, brown, reddish from krapina, which does them absolutely imperceptible among the dried last year's grass.
Tropical types can be very bright. Such is, for example, Nile goose. But, if to understand, his henna-red back and lighter neck, the head with brown krapina on a beige background very successfully imitate both rocky exits, and washouts of clay coast where these birds lodge.
The blue-winged goose possesses brighter shades: smoky feathers with white spots make a bird imperceptible against the background of stony soil, the greenish shade of a neck and wings merges with vegetation, and bright blue spots are combined with the water seen through stalks of plants. In thickets on the bank of the forest lake this goose is absolutely imperceptible.
The known expression "like water off a duck's back" appeared as a result of observation of people of these birds. Really, droplets of water roll down from plumage, without moistening it at all. There is it because feathers of birds are greased with fat which is excreted by the coccygeal gland located over a tail. Geese on vacation long clean feathers , bury a beak in the tail basis, and then sides rub the head and a neck about own back. Quite so "water-repellent" processing of plumage birds looks.
Not all web-footed – fans to float or live at water. The chicken goose not only resembles very large motley chicken or a guinea fowl superficially, but also does not like to swim, preferring the most part of time to carry out on the land. The Nile goose is fed and spends time in the steppe or on the processed fields, eating grain and juicy stalks of a grass. Only once in day, in the middle of the day, packs fly on a watering place.
The migrating pack of feathery travelers sometimes rises by height of 8-10 km. The lack of oxygen and low pressure have no impact on them though at such height the helicopter cannot fly, and people faint. Northern population of geese goes to winter to Africa or Southern Europe, and here tropical types live settled.
Outgrowths on wings of shportsevy geese are poisonous. The bird eats a large number of bugs-naryvnikov who the cantharidine produces caustic substance. Poison accumulates in the spurs located on a bend of hand department of a wing.
The least representative of a sort – a piskulk. Length of her body is only 50 cm, and such bird of 1.5-2 kg weighs. Called it so for the fact that she does not guffaw as she larger types, and peeps.
In spite of the fact that the goose mind is not highly appreciated, and the glory of silly birds was assigned to birds, they have high intelligence and lose only to parrots of macaw and black ravens on abilities to training. Strong and clever birds form steady couples, and the partner most often after loss of the second half remains lonely.