Last week as we were feeding baby calves, one of our employees asked me if I had seen the baby ducks on our pond that is located just down the road from the dairy. This is also the pasture that is home to several Holstein bulls. It's not unusual to see ducks on the ponds, but the description given for these sounded very unique. After we finished calf feeding, I picked up my camera and headed for the pond. To my sheer delight, I found what I now know are a pair of Egyptian geese with their eight goslings enjoying what appeared to be swimming instruction time.
After observing the family for a short time, I returned home to send a picture to my birding friend to find out more about these interesting birds. I'm not sure why they have chosen Northwest Arkansas as their home, but I did find out that a pair of them have been around our farm for the last ten years. This is the first time we have seen any Egyptian goslings.
Here are a few interesting facts about Egyptian Geese:
-originally from Africa
-considered sacred by ancient Egyptians, appearing in much of their artwork
-they pair for life
-the male and female are identical in plumage,the male is usually slightly larger
-they eat seeds,leaves,grass,plant stems; occasionally may eat locusts,worms or small animals
-they are very territorial in protecting their babies
I suppose it was a blessing that the pasture around the pond is full of bulls right now. There was no worry of me being attacked by the geese because I stayed on the outside of the fence with a bull's eye view!