hero hero_wave

There are five types of geese found in the Falkland Islands, the Upland, Ruddy-headed, Feral Domestic, Kelp Goose, and occasionally the Ashy-headed.

Upland Goose

The race of Upland Goose found in the Falklands is unique. Scientists have observed that it is diverging in an evolutionary sense from its continental cousin, the Magellan goose. Falkland birds are sedentary and much tamer. Only occasionally, the smaller continental bird, in which the male also has barred underparts, is seen in the Islands. The Falkland race has never been recorded from the mainland of South America. The Falkland population may be as high as 150,000 pairs.

The male Upland Goose is a handsome bird with his white plumage barred and marked with black. He has black legs and is usually larger than his mate. In general, where the male Upland is white his mate is cinnamon brown. She has a rusty-brown head and neck, brown breast and flanks barred black and dark yellow legs. The female Upland Goose has a heavier head and bill, and her rusty neck colour continues into the barred breast.

Ruddy-headed Goose

Ruddy-headed Goose is also very special. This species was once numerous in Tierra del Fuego, but has been driven to the brink of extinction there by man, decimated by the introduction of the Patagonian grey fox and shooting in its winter quarters. The Falklands now hold most of the world population of this attractive little goose, which is classified as Near Threatened by BirdLife International. It is fairly common in the Islands, though less numerous than the Upland Goose. The population was estimated at up to 27,000 pairs in 1997.

This bird is much smaller than the Upland Goose and it has a distinctive white eye ring. The bright chestnut head and upper neck are sharply divided from the finely barred grey and black lower neck and breast. The flanks are closely barred black, the belly and under tail are chestnut and this bright colour is even noticeable when the bird is swimming.

Kelp Goose

Pairs of these handsome and distinctive geese can be located from a distance because the totally white male is highly visible on the shoreline.

The female is dark brown above and heavily barred black and white beneath, almost invisible against dark rocks and seaweeds.

Both sexes have bright yellow legs and feet.

Black-browed Albatross

Southern Giant Petrel

Cobb’s wren

falklands steamer duck



become a


Join Today