Anser anser

family: Anatidae
geographic range: Europe, Asia
weight: 2.5-4 kg
lifespan: 20 years
habitat: marsh, fen
lifestyle: group

In Europe it is very widespread, but its spreading areas are isolated patches. It prefers open habitats close to water. It nests in the canes and red-maces of lakes and swamps. It predominantly nests in Hortobágy, in Kis-Balaton, and near Velence-lake and Fertő-lake. The full grown bird is 80 cm long, with long, greyish-brown feathers, with a lighter top and yellowish-white belly. It’s beak is orange, its legs are meat-red. They fly for longer distances in V-shape, and they are able to run on the ground fast and with ease. It was domesticated several thousand years ago, its meat is consumed, its feathers are used for filling and insulation. In the ancient Rome they were considered as sacred animals, as geese warned Romans of a Gaul attack.

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