Emperor goose Facts

Emperor goose Facts
Emperor goose is a medium-sized bird that belongs to the goose family. It can be found on the coasts of Alaska and Russia and occasionally in Canada, Washington, Oregon and California. Emperor goose inhabits coasts, dunes, reefs and cliffs. Major threats for the survival of emperor geese are uncontrolled hunting and oil spills. These factors, along with habitat destruction and climate changes, are responsible for the sharp decline in the number of emperor geese in the wild. Emperor goose is classified as near threatened species (it can become endangered in the near future).
Interesting Emperor goose Facts:
Emperor goose can reach 27 inches in length and 6 pounds of weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Emperor goose has bluish grey plumage with black and white markings on the tips of the wings. Head and nape are white colored.
White color of the head and hind part of the neck easily transforms into orange, due to high concentration of iron-oxide (orange-colored compound) in the ponds where these birds dive to find food.
Emperor goose has small, stocky body, short, pink bill and yellow-orange legs with webbed feet.
Emperor goose is an omnivore (it eats both plants and meat). Its diet is based on grass, berries and leaves during the breeding season, and on the algae, mussels and clams during the winter.
Emperor goose lives in small family groups.
Natural enemies of emperor geese are red and polar foxes, minks, eagles, owls, cranes and jaegers.
Emperor geese migrate toward the wintering grounds (Aleutian islands) in the autumn. They return to the breeding grounds (western coasts of Alaska) in May.
Emperor geese form monogamous pairs (they mate for a lifetime) and produce one brood per season.
Emperor geese usually nest in the lowland marshes and areas near the water. Female builds nest on the shore, on the small islands in the ponds or on top of the mounds.
Emperor geese usually occupy territory of 14 square meters during the breeding season. Male uses threatening posture, loud hisses and crying calls to chase away other geese and potential intruders from the nest.
Female lays 1 to 8 eggs (5 eggs on average) in the shallow depression in the ground that is lined with dead vegetation and feathers. Only female takes part in the incubation of eggs, which lasts 24 to 25 days.
Chicks (goslings) can swim and walk as soon as they hatch. They are ready to leave the nest at the age of 50 to 60 days, when they learn to fly.
Young emperor geese stay near their parents until the next spring. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years.
Emperor geese can survive up to 12 years in the wild, but majority of geese die before they reach the age of 6 years.

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