GEESE

Ne Ne

The Nene or Hawaiian Goose is the world’s rarest goose and was reduced to a population of 30 birds by 1952 .However, this species breeds well in captivity, and has been successfully re-introduced; In 2004, it was estimated that there were 800 birds in the wild, as well as 1000 in wildfowl collections and zoos.

The Nene is a medium-sized goose at 41 centimetres (16 in) tall. Although they spend most of their time on the ground, they are capable of flight, with some individuals flying daily between nesting and feeding areas. Females have a mass of 1.525–2.56 kilograms (3.36–5.6 lb), while males average 1.695–3.05 kilograms (3.74–6.7 lb), 11% larger than females. Adult males have a black head and hindneck, buff cheeks and heavily furrowed neck The neck has black and white diagonal stripes Aside from being smaller, the female Nene is similar to the male in colouration. The adult’s bill, legs and feet are black. It has soft feathers under its chin. Goslings resemble the male, but are a duller brown and with less demarcation between the colours of the head and neck, and striping and barring effects are much reduced. The bill, legs and feet are the same as the adults’. Their strong toes are padded and have reduced webbing, An adaptation that allows it to swiftly traverse rough terrain such as lava plains.

The breeding season of the Nene, from August to April, is longer than that of any other goose. Most eggs are laid between November and January. Unlike most other waterfowl, the Nene mates on land. Nests are built by females on a site of their choosing, in which one to five eggs are laid. Females incubate the eggs for 29 to 32 days, while the male acts as a sentry. Goslings are precocial,- i.e. able to feed on their own; they remain with their parents until the following breeding season.

Red breasted Goose

The Red-breasted Goose is a small goose at 53–56 centimetres (21–22 in) in length This brightly marked species is unmistakable, but can be surprisingly difficult to find.

The Red-breasted Goose breeds in Arctic Siberia, mainly on the Taymyr Peninsula,

The Red-breasted Goose often nests close to nests of birds of prey, such as Snowy Owls and Peregrine Falcons, which helps to protect this small goose from mammalian predators such as the Arctic Fox.

While wintering, the Red-breasted Goose feeds on grasses, leaves and seeds.

The Red-breasted Goose is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. It was considered a vulnerable species by the IUCN.

Ross’s Snow Geese

The plumage of this species is white except for black wing tips.. Ross’s goose breeds in the central Arctic and winters primarily in central California, but it is becoming more frequent farther east.

The snow goose is entirely herbivorous feeding entirely vegetarian; grasses, sedges, legumes, and domestic grains.

During the breeding season, a nest which is a simple scrape in the ground, is built and lined with plant material and down feathers. A clutch of 2–6 eggs is incubated solely by the female who will cover the eggs with down to keep them warm when she leaves the nest. The male stays nearby and guards her the whole time. The eggs hatch after 20-23 days. The goslings are covered with down and their eyes are open. They leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching and have the ability to swim and feed independently.

Habitat: Breeds on low arctic tundra, on islands in shallow lakes. Winters in agricultural fields and shallow wetlands.

Size: Length 57–64 cm. Wingspan 114 cm

Weight: 860–2040 g

Life span: 20 years

Greylag Goose

The Greylag is the largest and bulkiest of the grey geese of the genus Anser. It has a rotund, bulky body, a thick and long neck, and a large head and bill. It has pink legs and feet, and an orange or pink bill. It is 74 to 91 cm (29 to 36 in) long with a wing length of 41.2 to 48 cm (16.2 to 19 in). It has a tail 6.2 to 6.9 cm (2.4 to 2.7 in), a bill of 6.4 to 6.9 centimetres (2.5 to 2.7 in) long, and a tarsus of 7.1 to 9.3 centimetres (2.8 to 3.7 in). It weighs 2.16 to 4.56 kg (4.8 to 10.1 lb), with a mean weight of around 3.3 kg (7.3 lb). The wingspan is 147 to 180 cm (58 to 71 in). Males are generally larger than females.

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  • COME ALONG

    • Find out about the history of the Little Acorn Wood.
    • Learn about the regeneration of the Waterfowl Ponds.
    • Explore the Bug Trail.
  • OPENING TIMES

    Monday          9am - Dusk
    Tuesday         9am - Dusk
    Wednesday    9am - Dusk
    Thursday        9am - Dusk
    Friday             9am - Dusk
    Saturday         9am - Dusk
    Sunday           9am - Dusk
  • DIRECTIONS

    From M2 follow signs to Ballymena. At Seven Towers Roundabout, follow M2 to sign for Ecos Centre. Turn right off slip road following sign to Broughshane. Turn left at the mini roundabout in Broughshane and park in the car park on Knowhead Road.