Falkland Islands Kelp Goose

The Kelp Goose subspecies Chloephaga hybrida malvinarum is a coastal bird endemic to the Falkland Islands. It is bigger than other Kelp Geese found in the mainland of nearby South America. 

There are approximately 15,000 breeding pairs spread around the rocky coastlines.

Courtship starts in the Spring, which in this deep southern area is about September. 

Nests are made of grass lined with breast feathers and situated behind the beach in tall grass or shrubbery. Between 4 and 7 eggs are laid from late October to early November.

Chicks hatch a month later and are led from the nest to feed themselves with adults keeping a close watch until the fledge in February. Here a harmless Oyster catcher approaches the family.

Skirmishes can be seen over feeding sounds or mates. 

Or photographers who approach too close...

They feed mainly on green seaweed of the genus Ulva. 

The male’s white plumage makes him prominent as he stands guard over his family. He is able to begin breeding at 2 years of age. 

The female’s brown head and black and white breast barring helps her camouflage. 

The young look like their Mothers until they molt. 

This young goose hops to find water before she has learned to fly. She will soon be ready to take off. 

We'll end with a bit of trivia. Falklanders are so fond of their geese that they have chosen them for their stamps. Here is and image found on line:


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