The Cape Barren Goose breeds on islands in Bass Strait Tasmania, as well as some islands in South Australia and Western Australia. In spring and summer large flocks disperse onto the mainland where they feed on grasslands and irrigated pastures.
While the total population is possibly no more than ten thousand, they can be locally present in large loose flocks. For example, about a twenty minute drive south of where I live I have seen a flock of about 500 feeding in one irrigated paddock. Only a few days ago I saw about 50 in the same area.
The bird shown in the photo above is of a captive bird at the Adelaide Zoo.
I am sorry about the lack of posts here in the last few weeks. I’ve been busy, distracted, somewhat unwell, and occupied with other tasks. Life happens.
Last week we hitched up the caravan for a four night mini holiday in Victor Harbor on the coast south of Adelaide. We usually head down there for a few days this time of the year so my wife can attend the CWCI Convention there. This convention is enjoyed by Christian women from all over the state and even some come from interstate. Meanwhile, the respective husbands, including yours truly, sit around in the caravan park talking about all manner of things and generally solving the world’s problems. Sometime we even gather up the energy and go for a walk.
This time around it was different for me. I was recovering from dental surgery and was not feeling much like walking. I did a lot of sleeping and reading. I also had long chats to some of the men on some quite deep topics – about life, the universe and everything. It didn’t leave much time for birding.
I just made a sketchy list of the birds seen or heard from where we were in the caravan park. Not a great list but I was aware of a few birds. Probably the highlight was seeing four Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos flying low overhead. Quite a nice species to add to my list for the weekend. I didn’t have the camera on me at the time. In fact, the camera didn’t even come out of its case all weekend. Now that’s unusual for me.
There was one other nice sighting. On the way home we saw about 50 Cape Barren Geese just south of home. Here’s a photo of one I prepared earlier.
The Cape Barren Goose is locally abundant in its range but it has quite a limited range. Total numbers of this species would have to be about 10,000 so, although not endangered, it could be regarded as vulnerable.
This goose is found in coastal areas of South Australia, Victoria and in Tasmania. It breeds on the islands of Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania. There is an isolated population at Esperance in Western Australia.
During spring and summer it disperses to the mainland to feed on cultivated pastures, near wetlands and in grasslands. About a twenty minute drive south of where I live there are several large dairies. These have irrigated pastures (mainly clover and lucerne) which attract this species in large numbers. I’ve counted over 500 on several occasions.
The photo below was taken of a captive bird at the Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
This article was updated in August 2015.