Another what's-that-bird question
June 24, 2015 8:33 PM   Subscribe

What's this goose-like bird I saw in Oakland, CA this evening?

I was walking around the eastern side of Lake Merritt this evening and saw this goose-like bird on its own in the water. It seemed a little confused -- it kept turning around and going back and forth along the same edge of the lake, occasionally honking.

The body looks a lot like a Canada goose, but the head looks nothing like one. Someone nearby said it was an Egyptian goose, but it doesn't look like the photos I've seen online.

Anywhere here's some photos:

Thanks so much!
posted by crazy with stars to Science & Nature (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It's a domestic goose. Pretty common for them to wander off and live free.
posted by rtha at 8:39 PM on June 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

That looks to be a horn-billed goose, possibly interbred with another species.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:40 PM on June 24, 2015

Best answer: Chinese Goose (a domestic breed).
posted by Lycaon_pictus at 9:09 PM on June 24, 2015

Best answer: Although the resident Lake Merritt flock of around 140 is principally Canada geese (Branta canadensis, have a gander here for more on Lake Merritt's Goose Management Plan) Lake Merritt's a flyway and in the summer the population expands up to 2000 geese. Not only do you see escaped domestic geese (like your Chinese goose or swan goose, Anser cygnoides) you'll get weirdo hybrids of domestic and wild geese, including Canadas.
posted by gingerest at 10:09 PM on June 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks all!
posted by crazy with stars at 9:35 AM on June 25, 2015

Best answer: There used to be an Egyptian goose at Lake Merritt. I'd often see it hanging around the community garden or the little pond in the Japanese garden. That may be why that breed came up in conversation.

I would also say that's an African goose (We used to raise them). The coloration is a little duller than the Chinese, and the bodies are heavier. They have a more pronounced wattle, and the neck is straighter and less graceful. They are very closely related though, so who knows.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:18 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

oneirodynia, just looked at the comparison pics and I think you're right.
posted by Lycaon_pictus at 6:35 PM on June 25, 2015

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