Rare sighting of greylag geese reported in Penghu

A group of geese believed to belong to an uncommon winter migratory species -- the greylag goose -- made a rare appearance recently on the outlying island of Penghu, an ornithologist said on Sunday.

The greylag goose, which has the scientific name Anseranser, belongs to the waterfowl family Anatidae found in north Asia, Europe and China, according to Lee Kuo-hua (???).

Lee said that he was amazed to spot a group of seven greylag geese foraging and playing in a field in Longmen on the island. The geese flew southwards after a brief stay, according to Lee.

The birds' original habitat includes lakes and beaches in Serbia, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia in China.

The greylag goose has mottled and barred grey and white plumage, with and an orange beak and legs, according to Lee.

The bird is mainly vegetarian, feeding on grass and seeds, though it occasionally eats shrimp and river snails.

The greylag goose is not currently a protected species in China, but is expected to be given that status in the future following the falling number of the species in recent years as a result of illegal poaching, wetlands degradation and destruction, according to Lee.

Penghu has become a midway stop off point on the route of many migratory birds, with the little tern, black-headed gull and greater crested tern, often spotted on the island, Lee said, calling on enthusiasts to watch the birds from a distance so as not to disturb them.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel