The sexes of this species are identical in plumage, and the males average slightly larger. There is a fair amount of variation in plumage tone, with some birds greyer and others browner, but this is not sex- or age-related. A large part of the wings of mature birds is white, but in repose the white is hidden by the wing coverts. When it is aroused, either in alarm or aggression, the white begins to show. In flight or when the wings are fully spread in aggression the white is conspicuous.
Habitat and Distribution
This species breeds widely in Africa except in deserts and dense forests, and is locally abundant. They are found mostly in the Nile Valley and south of the Sahara. While not breeding, it disperses somewhat, sometimes making longer migrations northwards into arid regions of the Sahel. It has also been introduced in Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
Egyptian Geese typically eat seeds, leaves, grasses, and plant stems. Occasionally, they will eat locusts, worms, or other small animals.
This species will nest in a large variety of situations, especially in holes in mature trees in parkland. The female builds the nest from reeds, leaves and grass, and both parents take turns incubating eggs.
Calls and Songs
The male has a hoarse, subdued duck-like quack which seldom sounds unless it is aroused. The female has a far noisier raucous quack that frequently sounds in aggression and at the slightest disturbance when tending her young.