Skip to Content

Anseranatidae – Magpie Goose

Magpie Goose in Australia: Photo by Luke Seitz

Welcome to our Anseranatidae ID guide page! Discover the fascinating world of Magpie Geese and their relatives. Whether you’re seeking to identify different species or learn more about their behaviors, habitats, and conservation, you’ll find valuable insights right here. Join us as we explore the diverse members of the Anseranatidae family.

Overview of Anseranatidae

On the northeast coast of Australia and the southern coast of New Guinea, meandering rivers flow into vast tropical marshes, creating rich and diverse wetland ecosystems. Among the prominent nesting birds in these marshes is the Magpie Goose, a striking black-and-white bird commonly observed foraging in the marshlands and rearing its young in large colonies comprising hundreds of nests. These colonies are often tended by a trio consisting of two females and a male. With its distinctive features including a high forehead, a knob atop the head, bare red facial skin, and long legs with partially webbed feet, the Magpie Goose stands out as a unique member of the avian world. Known for their longevity, Magpie Geese are long-lived anseriforms, with lifespans exceeding 30 years, marked by intensive and prolonged parental care unmatched by many others in their order.