Kenya Birds

Spur-winged Goose


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Spur-winged Goose

Photograph(s) Copyright ©P&H HARRIS

Plectropterus gambensis

Other Names

  English Spurwing Goose, Spur-winged Duck   French Oie-armée de Gambie   German Sporngans   Spanish Ganso Espolonado   Swedish Sporrgås   Dutch Spoorwiekgans   Italian Oca dallo sperone

World: Africa: Widespread S of 15°N although absent from the dry regions of Somalia and the SW of the continent as well as from the interior of the Congo Basin.

Kenya: Most commonly found between 1000m and 3000m associated with freshwater (swamps and lakes), although it is found on most inland water types. Particularly frequent near flooded grassland and arable land.

One of only 3 species of goose found in Kenya (the others being the Pygmy Goose and the Egyptian Goose). The Spur-winged Goose is unmistakable, being a massive black and white bird which can get to 39" (100cm) in length. It is, in fact, the largest of Africa's waterfowl. It is mostly vegetarian (although it will take small fish) and forages on land. Its method of grazing and liking for freshwater close to arable land can bring it into conflict with local farmers and it is considered to be an agricultural pest in some areas. They are common in the Amboseli swamps and also in the marsh areas of the Maasai Mara.

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