Spread and habitat
Loca Selvatica differs in the two western and eastern subspecies:
- Anser anser anser L. (Anser cinereus): in Western Europe (England, Germany and Holland);
- Anser anser rubrirostris: in the most eastern parts of Europe.
It is the ancestor of the domestic goose. The two subspecies are very similar: the second has a pink beak and unleading of the plumage on the back and on the wings, lighter and more marked, also the color of the tail is whiter.
It is found in ponds and marshes. Excellent migrant, she flies in large triangular flocks. It adapts well to different environments. Sociable and gregarious, it can be easily domesticated.
There is no sexual dimorphism.
Head, neck and hips are greyish brown. The chest is light gray, tending towards the suede towards the abdomen. The undertail is white. The beak, broad and robust, has an orange color with a pink terminal nail. The red-orange legs. The male is slightly larger than the female.
Juveniles are similar to adults but with darker plumage.
Size 70-90 cm. Weight about 4.5 kg.
Wingspan from 170 to 200 cm.
Nutrition and behavior
Omnivorous, it feeds on everything it finds (minnows, snails, insects, larvae, earthworms, frogs, seeds, sprouts and herbs). In captivity, the optimal diet consists of a good feed and a mixture of seeds.
The female lays her eggs (4 to 7, whitish) in the nest built in areas sheltered from predators (in the middle of a swamp or a reed bed). The hatching lasts four weeks. the male defends the nest first and then the offspring, who for the first month return to the nest at night. During family movements, the male always closes the line.
A species similar to wild alloca is loca barn (Anser fabalis) which has a gray beak with orange shades and a darker plumage.
Wild Goose - Anser anser (photo Dick Vuijk www.iceland-nh.net)
Greylag goose (photo Gino Santini)