Mountain geese

The migratory mountain goose belongs to Ut The number of this species has been significantly reduced recently, in some places, for example, in certain areas of the Pamir and Tien Shan, it has disappeared completely.

  1. External attributes
  2. Geography of residence and movement
  3. Unique flying abilities
  4. Behavioral traits and nutrition
  5. Bird behavior
  6. Food ration
  7. Nesting <

Горные гуси

Mountain geese

Outward signs

The mountain goose has the main color of plumage on the body gray. The feathers on its head and side of the neck are painted white. Its light color and white head allow to fly a bird in flight at a fairly large distance from the ground. Among the distinguishing features by which the goose can be recognized in the photo, two black stripes running along the crown and at the back of the head are highlighted. The legs of the goose are tall and painted yellow. The beak is the same shade.

In length, mountain geese grow in the range from 0.7 to 0.75 m, gaining in the process of growth weight of 2.0-3.2 kg. Young growth can weigh from 200 g to 1 kg. The wing length is 0.4-0.5 m.

The color of the plumage depends on the age of the bird:

  • in newborn chicks, the down jacket is bright straw yellow with a dark mark on the crown of the head, the scapular part is olive, the birds change color as they grow and become brown on the back,
  • the young growth is monotonous, the feather is gray, without characteristic black stripes, only the frontal part, the head on the sides, the neck and upper cervical part are white, after the second change of feather the young ones begin to appear dark strips, they get the final appearance after the third change of opera niya,
  • adult females and males, as a general rule, are brownish-gray with a white head and neck, plumage on their backs with ash tint and diluted with dark wavy stripes.

Geography of residence and movement

Nesting and migratory Nagorno-Asian breed can most often be found on lakes located in the highlands of the central Tien Shan. It lives on the water bodies of the Pamirs, in Altai there is an extreme northwestern habitat. The northern border of residence passes through Mongolia. Mountain goose lives in Tuva.

For wintering, mountain geese move closer to the Indian shores, settling in lowlands and marshy areas. They can nest in Pakistan and large Burmese rivers.

In large numbers of birds can be found only in Tibet. The mountain goose is listed in the Red Book of Russia as an endangered species.The number of representatives of this species nesting in the Russian regions totals no more than 1,500 individuals.

A small population of geese was recorded in the northern European part. You can meet birds in Russia. On the territory of our country they are found in the valleys of the Tuvan rivers, they were seen on Lake Teletskoye, on the banks of the Abakan River. Some representatives of the breed live on the Taimyr Peninsula, some individuals were recorded on the Krasnoyarsk reservoirs, as well as in the Far East.

Scientists noted that the spring and autumn movements of mountain geese do not coincide.

After wintering, mountain geese return from March to early April. Autumn migration in birds living in the northern regions begins early, back in August. Southern residents leave their nesting sites in September and October.

For habitats, mountain geese choose a mountainous landscape. These can be rivers and lakes, swamps and river sources located nearby with cliffs and high-mountain cliffs high above sea level. In the conditions of the plateau, they can settle in salt bodies of water with trees and shrubs growing along their banks.

Unique flying abilities

Specialists know the mountain representative for its high flight. This is one of the highest birds flying up. Scientists recorded a height of 10.175 thousand meters, to which they climbed, moving from the Central Asian continent over the Himalayas.And this despite the fact that the air discharged at such an altitude does not make it possible to fly even helicopter equipment.

In their ability to understand at air altitudes, mountain geese lose only to vultures that can fly at an altitude of 12,150 thousand meters

A mountain goose spends a high flight, holding in the form of an angle, diagonally or as two converging straight lines. During the flight, the leading individual changes from the next every 5 minutes thereafter.

When descending to the water surface, the mountain geese initially spin and then lower, turning over in the air.

Behavioral traits and nutrition

Behavior of birds

Being the owner of rather long paws, the mountain goose moves awkwardly on them, however, in case of danger, it is able to run fast, helping with this movement with wings.

In a mountain goose, the voice has a low timbre, not like a sound ki issued ordinary gray goose. At the same time, the voice of the birds is heard far beyond their location. They can often be heard much earlier than they are seen.

For mountain geese, a land-based way of life is preferable, because they try to spend more time on the earth’s surface, but they are no less comfortable to feel on the surface of the water.

Mountain birds have a sociable and curious character.

Feeling safe, mountain geese often find themselves too close to places of human settlement in search of food, leading mainly a daytime lifestyle. In places where they try to hunt them, they become wary, and when they sense danger, they begin to lean toward a nocturnal lifestyle, stopping to rest in places inaccessible to people.

Scientists noted the special attentiveness of mountain geese to friend. In the event of injury to one of the flocks, they will necessarily return and take the feeble bird with them.

During the plumage change and for feeding, mountain geese can go to inaccessible shallows, but when the young growth occurs, the birds again move to the wing in slums, gathering in a flock, choosing to feed at night.

Mountain geese do not have commercial value, being only a subject for hunting, which has recently been banned in many areas due to the disappearance of this species of bird. Because of their non-aggressive nature, they are easily tamed by humans and can live in captivity at home in areas with highlands.

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Feed ration

Among the main food that the mountain goose eats, ground vegetation stands out: its birds can independently harvest on the shores of water bodies. Most of the feed ration is occupied by cereals, sedge meadow grass, legumes. At wintering grounds, mountain geese feed mainly on cereals.On the coastal coastal strip, birds seek algae and crustaceans.


After returning after wintering, the birds keep in small flocks of 20 individuals, building a nest with colonies of 3-7 close to each other friend. They build nests on rocky surfaces or in the crown of trees at a height of 4 to 6 m, the banks of water bodies and wetlands. The oviposition of the mountain goose has 4-6 white frosted eggs.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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