Bar Headed Goose

Bar Headed Goose

Bar Headed Goose


The Bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) is a species of waterfowl that is found in central Asia. It is one of the world’s highest-altitude birds, known for its remarkable ability to fly over the world’s tallest mountains, including the Himalayas.

Common Name: Bar-headed goose, gray goose
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus Species: Anser (goose) indicus


Facts of Bar Headed Goose

Description: This species is gray and white with two horseshoe-shaped, brownish-black bars on the back of its white head. The body is gray overall, and the bill and legs are pink, orange, or yellow.
Size: Approximately 75 cm (30 in.)
Weight: 1.87 to 3 kg (4 to 6.5 lbs.)
Diet: Includes plants and occasionally crustaceans and invertebrates
Incubation: 27 days
Clutch Size: 4 to 6 eggs
Fledging Duration: 50 days
Sexual Maturity: Approximately 3 years
Life Span: No data
Range: The Bar-Headed Goose has an extremely large range and can be found in Afghanistan, Bangladesh Bhutan, China, India; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. The have also been introduced to Canada and Spain.
Habitat: These geese prefer high altitude mountain lakes.
Population: Global: Their world population is very large with at least 10,000 mature individuals. Their global population appears to be declining but none of their sub-populations are severely fragmented.
Status: IUCN: Least concern
CITES: Not listed
USFWS:  Not listed

This medium-sized goose is easily recognisable by its striking features. It has a white head and neck, while the rest of its body is grayish-brown. The bird’s beak and legs are orange, and it has distinctive black bars on its wings. The Bar-headed goose has a wingspan of approximately 1.5 meters (5 feet), and it weighs between 1.5 to 2.5 kg (3.3 to 5.5 lbs).

Bar Headed Goose in Nepal

Bar-headed geese are migratory birds, and they are known for their long-distance flights. They breed in the high-altitude wetlands of central Asia, and during the winter months, they migrate to warmer regions of India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. These birds are capable of flying at altitudes of over 8,000 meters (26,000 feet), and they have been known to cross the Himalayas during their migration.

One of the unique features of the Bar-headed goose is its exceptional respiratory system, which allows it to survive in high-altitude environments. These birds have larger lungs and more efficient oxygen-carrying capacity, allowing them to extract more oxygen from the air they breathe. They are also able to regulate their blood flow to their organs, which helps them maintain their body temperature and energy levels.

Despite their impressive flying abilities, Bar-headed geese are still vulnerable to a number of threats, including habitat loss, hunting, and pollution. Conservation efforts are currently underway to protect these birds and their habitats, which are essential for maintaining the ecological balance in the high-altitude regions they inhabit.

Nepal is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with a diverse range of avian species found across its various habitats, including wetlands, forests, grasslands, and mountain regions.

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