Cape Barren Geese

Cereopsis novaehollandiae

"Petunia," (Feb. 1, 2000 -- June 7, 2005) my Cereopsis goose, showing off her lime green beak
Photos courtesy of Robert Sussman

This primitive southern Australian goose was once considered an aberrant shelduck. Males may be larger and heavier than females, but the plumage is similar in both sexes. The bill is black but has a greatly enlarged greenish-yellow cere. Legs are pinkish with black feet. Goslings are very attractive, being black on the upperparts with a broad white stripe down each side.

They are somewhat sociable and nest in colonies, but the nests are well spaced and vigorously defended. In captivity pairs can be very aggressive to other fowl and paired males often attack their keepers. Captive females on the other hand, when kept on their own, can become very tame. The males' call is a loud "ark, ark-ark, ark-ark," and the females make a low, piglike grunt.

They are one of the most terrestrial geese, taking to water only if the goslings are threatened. Access to green feed is important in keeping these birds healthy. Incubation takes 35-37 days for the clutch of 3-7 eggs.

Cereopsis Goose Links:

Harteman Waterfowl


A wild flock on Phillip Island in Australia

Talk about the tameness of the female Cereopsis! "Petunia" has become my social director and grounds superintendant. Here she is hostessing at a party for over 100 people.
Photo courtesy of Susan Rodetis

A pen of Cereopsis geese: that's a male standing upright in front and "Petunia" all the way to the left in the rear (the day I bought her)

Two more shots of "Petunia," showing her pink legs and black feet
Right photo courtesy of Robert Sussman

Another flock on Phillip Island
Photo courtesy of Howard Weitzman

A family, parents on the left
Photo courtesy of Irina Meyer

Cereopsis rarely swim, but I caught this family on the water

Best friends!
Photos courtesy of Marlis Momber

Another pair seen on Phillip Island

Juvenile Cape Barren Geese
Photo courtesy of Irina Meyer

The lion and the lamb?
"Beau" & "Petunia"

So why are you staring at us?

A Cereopsis gosling
Photo courtesy of Clyde Robinson & Avian Empire

Cereopsis gosling with its mother
Photo courtesy of Clyde Robinson & Avian Empire



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