Magpie Goose

Magpie Goose standing in water of billabongWhat does it look like? The large, noisy Magpie Goose is readily recognised. The head and neck are black and there is a characteristic knobbed crown. The underparts are white with contrasting black margins on the underwing. The legs, feet and bill are orange.

Where does it live? The Magpie Goose is found throughout most of eastern and northern Australia, but more common in north.

What are its habitats and habits? It frequents floodplains and wet grasslands, where it is a specialist feeder, with wild rice Oryza, Panicum, Paspalum and spike-rush Eleocharis forming the bulk of its diet. Pairs of geese mate for life, but the male may have two females. As two females may occasionally use the same nest (built in secluded places, usually close to wetlands), the large, oval, off-white coloured eggs may number up to 16, but 8 is a more common clutch size.

Scientific name: Anseranas semipalmata

Size: Males can reach up to 92 cm, but females are slightly smaller.

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store