BIO 203


Bar-Headed Goslings hatching

    The breeding season for the Bar-Headed Goose typically starts in late May or June (Cucinello, 2013).These geese usually form monogamous pairs that last for many years. However, in years when there is an overabundance of females, the birds will form harem groups (Lamprecht, 1987). These harem groups will have one male and anywhere from two to five females (Arkive, 2003-2013). In these groups there is one primary female and the remaining females are secondary females. The primary female is the bird that the male is most attentive to. Because of this, the primary female on average has a higher reproductive success rate (Lamprecht, 1987). The geese will usually go to the same nesting site every year. They usually build their nest on the ground near a source of water such as rivers, marshes or lakes but they will sometimes nest in trees (Arkive, 2003-2013).

      On average the females lay between three and eight eggs. The incubation period for the eggs lasts between 27 and 30 days. After the goslings hatch, both parents care for them and protect them from predators, which could be one of the reasons monogamous pairs are favored (Cucinello, 2013). The goslings are able to feed themselves and can leave the nest one to two days after hatching. They are capable of flyingJuvenile Bar-Headed Goose after 53 days. The birds are considered juveniles until they are around three years old. The juveniles look very similar to the adult birds except they are more pale in color and have not yet developed the black bars on their heads. They finally reach sexual maturity and are able to reproduce at three years old (Arkive, 2003-2013). Some birds that reproduce similarly are the American White Pelican and the Red-Tailed Hawk.



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