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Egyptian Geese Birds in Florida

Updated on April 20, 2017

Goose Walking Around Like He Owns the Land

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Egyptian Geese


Egyptian geese are another non-native species like the Muscovy Ducks that was imported to the Florida peninsula by man. They were brought here to be ornamental waterfowl at golf courses and aviaries. One look at an Egyptian goose and you can see the appeal of having them “strut their stuff” in these Florida venues.

The goose is a very handsome non-native waterfowl. Male and female alike are just gorgeous to look at. From the pink feet and legs of the adults to the top of their heads they just have the “see how pretty I am” look. Beige feathers merge into delightful brown plumage which provides the geese with a soft look.

Their eyes are bright yellow and are surrounded by dark brown (chestnut) feathers. This circular patch of brown actually highlights the eyes. When they look at you it’s as though they were saying “I can see you clearly, see my eyes.”

Around the neck they have a thin necklace of brown feathers. To complement the brown feathers on the top of the wings they have a patch of brown on their breasts. The wings also have white patches which become visible when the bird displays or is in flight.

Showing Me His Back

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Egyptian Goose Family

Here are 2 adults with their brood of 5 chicks hanging out on the grassy-weedy bank of a canal.
Here are 2 adults with their brood of 5 chicks hanging out on the grassy-weedy bank of a canal. | Source

Habitat of the Pretty Goose


The origin of these geese is North Africa particularly around the Nile delta and Egypt (their name should have already alerted you to this). They have been domesticated for hundreds of years in Africa and were imported into the British Isles in the 1700s. They are a more recent introduction to the Florida landscape.

They like to hang out near in-land waters that have open areas nearby. Golf courses and housing developments around lakes with lots of open grass land around those lakes are ideal. The evenings are usually spent perched in a tree or on a building. They are good swimmers but spent most of their time on land.

This pair of geese appears to like this Florida canal and have made it their home. They graze on the grasses and weeds growing along the banks. Sometimes they will be seen on the other side of the path where there is more grass and plants. With the young ones in tow the water side grazing probably provides a safe escape route from anything that may threaten them such as a stray dog.

Like most birds they eat a variety of foods. Their main course is composed of grasses and herbs interspersed with worms and insects. When their natural food is insufficient, due to drying up during droughts or the dry season, they will take advantage of any nearby crops. Fortunately, Florida golf courses and complexes have mastered the skill of lawn watering which keeps the geese supplied with their favorite munchies and away from crop lands.


Young Egyptian Geese

Young Egytian Geese grazing on the grasses and weeds.
Young Egytian Geese grazing on the grasses and weeds. | Source
While the parents watch me the youngsters move off to the edge of the canal.
While the parents watch me the youngsters move off to the edge of the canal. | Source

Nesting and Parenting

Egyptian geese get together during the spring. The male does all the courting usually a display of his finery accompanied by loud honks which proclaim him available to the females. Once a bond between a male and female goose is formed they will stay together for life.

The geese will nest in a lot of different places. Most seem to prefer high places like the tops of trees, ledges or the tops of buildings. Some however will nest on the ground in a protected spot or even in burrows abandoned by other animals.

They build their nests from leaves, grass, and reeds if available then line the nest with goose down. The female will lay up to eight eggs. The eggs are incubated for about a month. The chicks then join the parents and the family will stay together while foraging and sleeping.

The adult geese are aggressively territorial and will fight off any other Egyptian geese that come near. They will also take an aggressive stance to anyone that approaches too close to the family. They allowed me to get within a few feet of them but then my approach was slow and easy. Even so they kept a yellow eye on me.

These birds can live up to 15 years in the wild and much longer in aviaries and zoos. Since the feral populations in Florida are partially protected they probably live longer on average although it is doubtful they reach the 35 year life span some in zoos have been known to reach.


Golf Course Goslings

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Breeding on a Local Golf Course

As mentioned earlier in the article, Golf Courses make excellent habitat for the Egyptian Geese. The fairways, roughs and greens provide plenty of open grassy areas for them to hang out in. There are plenty of trees and bushes around for hiding in and to perch on. The same dense brushy areas that seem to attract golf balls can provide the shelter they need for nesting and hatching.

This mother goose came out with her goslings to enjoy a small pool of rainwater. We were doing a charity golf outing at the time when storms moved in and drenched everything. In 15 to 20 minutes the downpour created quite a few areas of standing water. It appears that standing water is a great place for mother goose to teach the babies about grooming.

She moved from one small bundle of feathers to the next, grooming them by spreading their feathers with her beak. The little guys watched and imitated and soon they all were fluffing out their feathers with their own little beaks. Fun to watch but I had to leave after a couple of shots and get back to the golf outing.

The babies are the proof that this goose is doing well in South Florida. They are breeding well across the land and expanding their flocks. Immigrants forced to come to the U.S.A who have successfully adapted to their new habitat.



Egyptian Geese

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    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I was interested to read your article about the Egyptian geese breeding in Florida. Thank you for writing about it so thoroughly. We have an estimated 700 pairs breeding in the UK (according to the RSPB) Unlike some introduced species they don't seem to cause any harm to native wildlife and don't seem to arouse the wrath of humans either.

    • Angelo52 profile image
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      Angelo52 5 years ago from Central Florida

      That seems to be the concensus here also. They do not appear to compete with native waterfowl. They are a pleasure to watch. Just when they have young ones with them they can be a bit more aggressive toward humans. Although most times they just walk away.

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      oceansider 5 years ago

      Thank you, this was a very informative article about Egyptian geese. I had never heard of them before.

    • Angelo52 profile image
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      Angelo52 5 years ago from Central Florida

      A few years ago you would only see a pair here and there near golf course lakes. Now, as the my photos show, they are breeding well and moving into other areas. The one place they keep away from is the beach area. Probably cause they need fresh water.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Voted up, awesome and interesting. This is wonderful information on these geese. Thanks for letting me get acquainted with them.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 5 years ago from Central Florida

      You are welcome. Glad you liked the information and the Egyptian geese.

    • profile image

      Suzy Stuart fl 3 years ago

      I have a pair that come to my back door everyday for 5 years now. They have had me at hello. I have named them Territory and Tina. I feed them berries and grain bread, they actually take it out of my hand. I love they look at me and talk to me. It's the highlight of my day.

      I adore them, I think there will be some little ones on the way soon.

    • KrisL profile image

      KrisL 3 years ago from S. Florida

      Thanks, Angelo. I'm glad I ran into this. We have two now hanging out at my university in Boca that I'd been trying to identify. Prettier than the Muscovy ducks for sure!

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      Sharon L-C. 3 years ago

      I like this article. I have some great photos of these beautiful birds since I live on a canal in Tamarac, FL.

    • profile image

      slesliec 3 years ago

      My Favorite Egyptian Goose story: October 2012

      I was working and heard the geese honking frantically. I went outside and there were 4 geese standing around an alligator honking- along with some curious Ibis. The alligator just lay there on the bank occasionally opening one eye and looking at them, at which time the geese would jump back. They stood over that alligator for over an hour honking...so funny.

    • profile image

      Ryan Malin 3 years ago

      I live in North Lauderdale FL near McNab/Cypress Creek and Avon Ln.

      I can tell you were in Palm Aire conominiums in Pompano Beach off Atlantic Blvd and Powerline Rd.

      I've got two Egyptian geese in my apartment complex who must be mates, they are ALWAYS together. The smaller (maybe female) goose always honks real loud when she sees my dog walking up. Thanks for posting this.

    • profile image

      Jerry Tyson 3 years ago

      I live in SW Ranches -I feed 12-15 ducks every day-have raised 2 complete famlies of ducklings -have become a regular Dr Doolittle --anyhoo im now a regular "eat and run" diner for two pairs of these beautiful Egyptian geese. They have gotten so trusting that they now hang out at my feet and chatter till I serve them.

      I go thru 100 lbs of Purina "Scratch Feed" a month for all these guys & girls.

    • Angelo52 profile image
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      Angelo52 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I enjoy watching them but let them take care of finding their own food. Same for the Muscovy ducks. Glad you are enjoying them.

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      Dorie 3 years ago

      Wow...have been seeing a pair for the last three years here in Dania Beach, Fl. Love seeing them. So much more beautiful than the Moscovy ducks. Haven't seen any chicks yet. Took a beautiful picture of one.

    • profile image

      rubywink 3 years ago

      I love these birds. They are so cute. They live on the golf course where I live in S. Florida. I have seen many families in the past 3 years. I feed them everyday when I'm in Florida.

    • profile image

      Doug Shoemaker 3 years ago

      I saw one of these on the 9th hole fairway at the Okeechobee Country Club last week. Had to do some research to identify it. This article was very helpful.

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      cgrono 2 years ago

      Interesting article. I feed the ducks and geese regularly at the Easy Street Park in Sebastian, Florida. There were two new residents - Egyptian Geese. They were hesitant to approach but ate with gusto. It will be interesting to see if they stick around the park. The large white geese and the Muscovy duck are bullies to the other feathered residents of Easy Street Park.

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      Rolando 2 years ago

      Lots of Egyptian ducks in Hialeah. On a pond on 44th Pl between 8th and 4th Avenue. Hialeah. On Saturdays see them in the morning take over the street and stop the traffic. No afraid of cars.

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      dan B 2 years ago

      This is an invasive species. I have watched them attack mallards and small herons and run off a host of other species that migrate annually here to mid-Fl. They are the bully of the lake and think they should considered invasive as a python and you know what they do to pythons.

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      candy 2 years ago

      They are so beautiful! I have a pair in my yard. I live on an acre so they have plenty of room. They come and go as they please. We have a pond which attracts the ducks. There are even 4 peacocks that live in our neighborhood and come down to our open, no fenced in yard. I love watching all these beautiful birds. I have seen some many different types of birds. It's just awesome!

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      Nicole fishman 22 months ago

      I was so happy to find this article. I live on a lake here in South Florida and we have a gorgeous pair of Egyptian Geese we have named One eyed Jack ( for obvious reasons) and Jill. Jack looks as though he lost his entire right eye long ago and has adapted well. He also has holes in the webbing of his feet. We love these two. They also hang out with Muscovoy ducks and we feed them daily. I had a question, lately jill, the female has been flying away for a couple days at a time leaving her mate here waiting for her. A few days pass she returns only to do the same thing. Do you know why the female leaves? When she does return the male gets so happy. He follows her everywhere and chases off anything that approaches her. (Except us of course ). It seems heartbreaking how he wsits for her. Just waits and waits looking around aimlessly. Isn't he supposed to follow her?

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 22 months ago from Central Florida

      Females of any species have their wiles. Perhaps she has found a new nesting site or source of food. Maybe his injuries could be keeping him from following along. At least she returns to keep up the relationship. Of course, this is all guess work on my part since I have no clue what is really going on. Appreciate your reading and comment. Sorry I can't be more help.

    • profile image

      Will 18 months ago

      I just saw a couple of adults in the parking lot of a gas station near Hialeah, FL today. Had no idea what type they were but I snapped a few pictures since they were so beautiful. I was able to walk right up to them. No fear. Great article, this helped me I.D them.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 18 months ago from Central Florida

      Glad to help out Will. I'm pretty sure they now consider Florida, especially South Florida their home.

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      Sue - PGA National - Florida 14 months ago

      This is Honda Classic Week at PGA National in Florida. We live across the lake from the Famous 18 th hole.

      I watch and record all of the varieties fowl we see on our lake. I was just taken to my patio by a loud and continuous

      HONKING noise.

      A pair of Egyptian geese were badgering an alligator who had climbed onto the bank. I had to search the web to identify these geese because I have never seen them here before! The honking continued for almost an hour...with one of the geese walking right next to the gator - and standing there for about 15 minutes.

      They finally gave up and watched the golfers instead.

      I enjoyed reading all of your info and comments by others .

    • profile image

      Sam 12 months ago

      Cooper City FL...PAIR OF Egyptian Geese on my roof 4/09... first time sighting after 30+ years living here. Pictures taken.

    • Angelo52 profile image
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      Angelo52 12 months ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for sharing. They do seem to get right into the face of a threat. They also are reluctant to move for the golfer who hits his ball into their "area" of the course. Personal observation.

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      Mike Albright 8 months ago

      We have one here in N. Fort Myers live on golf course. He comes up to lina every morning to be feed. Wiats by back door tell wife comes out with seed. Then he can't wait for her to get into feeder almost takes it out of her hand.

    • profile image

      Susie 7 months ago

      Thank you for the article, neighbors and I have been trying to identify these geese. We have probably 30-40 that have just arrived on our neighborhood golf course. I am enjoying watching them and they are beautiful. We are in Port St. Lucie, Fl.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 6 months ago from Central Florida

      They are beautiful, and like humans have adapted well to the Florida landscape - especially golf courses.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 6 months ago from Central Florida

      If there is one, there will be others around or coming soon. They can gather in flocks - sometimes rather large ones. Have fun but remember they are feral and may take a nip out of you.

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      Ken 5 months ago

      I had one Egyptian Geese visit this morning wondering in a group of mallards looking for a snack. Once i placed cracked corn on the ground he was happy.

      Wellington FLorida

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      June 5 months ago

      I live on Inverrary golf course and enjoy having these geese as neighbors

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      Bette 5 months ago

      I have a little family of Egyptian Geese who live by a pond in the middle of my development in Delray. However, they don't have a mother and father. They are being taken care of a white Long Island Duckling. He or she (?) goes everywhere they go . Even after dark, I see them walking around under a tree with their "Baby sitter" standing guard. I don't feed them because they need to forage for themselves. They moved to the other side of the pond as soon as the Iguana's arrive.

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      frank 8 weeks ago

      I live in Pembroke Pines Fl. in Pasadena Lakes. Recently we have been seeing a pair of these beautiful geese on the road close to our home.

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      Al G of Boston 7 weeks ago

      I was playing on the Greynolds Golf Course, N. Miami and a pair approached me appearing to be looking for food. They are so beautiful, though I couldn't identify what they were. After searching the web and finding this site, I am happy to now know what type of bird they are. Someone said that he fed them grain bread. I'd like to feed them a snack, but in don' t know what to give them. I don't want to hurt them.

    • Angelo52 profile image
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      Angelo52 7 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Best not to feed them. You may find it hard to golf if they think you have food for them. Like most geese they do fine on the natural foods they find on the edges of ponds, canals and fairways. Enjoy the view but leave them to forage on their own.

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      Ray kammerer 6 days ago

      Live in make worth unincorpated. A pair has even coming here for the past five years. They have had a brood thre times. They have one. With 6 babies now. They are beautiful. They come to our house three to four times a day. We have feeders for the birds. When I come out the door they fly over. I can get very close t them. Last year we had 6 adults. We live on a golf course.

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