This is prime breeding time for Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca). There is much jostling and honking in water ways as the courting procedures get underway. While they appear to have a belligerent nature, it is touching to watch the male using a feather display to attract his mate.
Pairs choose their ‘spot’ and work hard at defending it from others wishing to either muscle in on a mate or take the spot for themselves.
It was while watching a few pairs of them this weekend that we got chatting about the name for these birds. As both the English and the scientific name imply, they have a close association with Egypt. Indeed, they are easily recognisable in the Ancient Egyptian artwork that still survives. The Afrikaans name, Kolgans, is a more practical name in terms of identification, however, for it draws attention to the distinctive brown patch in the middle of the bird’s buff-coloured chest.
Although we often see Egyptian Geese in the water and on the edges of rivers and dams, they also perch on buildings and in trees.
I recently saw a pair nesting in the top of a broken-off date palm in Boksburg.
Here a male takes off from the dam next to his mate.
Flies ahead of her.
Leaving her in his wake.