|Cape Barren Goose Cereopsis novaehollandiae
February / March 2006
The Cape Barren Goose is endemic to Australia on islands off the south coast though some disperse to the nearby mainland outside the breeding season.
|It used to be considered a close relative of the shelducks but is now usually place in a family on its own situated between the shelducks and true geese.
It is pale grey with a square black tail almost covered by droopy grey wing feathers. The bill is short, black and almost covered with a greeny-yellow cere. In adults the legs are red and the feet are black but immatures have grey-brown legs and are more spotted on the back and wings as shown by the bird to the back of photo 4.
|Since George Bass first saw them in 1797 they have been hunted for food and they were also persecuted as an agricultural pest. Numbers decreased substantially but now, under protection, their future seems secure.|