British Waterfowl Association

Andean Goose

Andean Geese allopreening - Morag Jones

Like most sheldgeese, Andean Geese exhibit a strong pair bond and perform sex specific courtship displays. The male makes a soft whistle ending in a deep rasping noise. Well-bonded pairs often spend a lot of time allopreening and cementing their bonds.

Chloephaga melanoptera

This large monochromatic sheldgoose inhabits areas above 3000m in the Andes Mountains up to the snow line. Its range countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Chile. A mutation in their red blood cells (Haemoglobin)  increases oxygen affinity, allowing Andean Geese to live in these oxygen poor areas.

Andean gosling - Morag Jones

A sexually monomorphic species Рmales and females look the same, with distinctive black and white plumage and a small pink beak. Andean Geese are largely terrestrial species and are rarely observed swimming.  They utilise their small beak to graze on diminutive alpine plants.

Andean Geese are well represented in aviculture, certainly charismatic, but care should be taken during the nesting season. Some say this is the grumpiest of the sheldgeese, some that it is a mild mannered bird. We suggest you assume the former.

Nesting is usually in a bare scrape near water. 6-10 eggs are incubated for about 30 days. Both parents defend the family and will become fierce and foul-tempered.