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Spurwinged Goose in Flight

Spurwinged goose in flight Caption: Spurwinged goose flying low over water in overcast conditions, Tala Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Canon Rebel XSi 12.2MP); Lens: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 USM plus 2x converter; Focal Length: 600mm; Shutter speed: 1/125; Aperture: f8; ISO: 200.

The spurwinged goose (Plectropterus gambensis) is Africa’s largest waterfowl, weighing on average from 4 to 6.8 kg (8.8 to 15 lbs) and reaching up to 115 cm (45 in) in length.

Males are larger than females and also have a larger red facial patch extending back from the red bill. Plumage is a glossy black with white wing patches, although females and immature are browner with little or no white.

The long legs are pink and the bill is bright red. The name stems from the spur on the elbow of each wing that is used in defence against predators

Spurwinged geese occur near rivers and dams and on floodplains and swamps. They are mostly vegetarian (although they are known to take small fish) and generally forage on land.

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