aw5934's picture

Greylag sitting down

Observed: 20th December 2009 By: aw5934
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - current student
aw5934’s reputation in Birdsaw5934’s reputation in Birdsaw5934’s reputation in Birds

Greylag having a cool seat

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Greylag Goose (Anser anser) interacts


er2938's picture


This is a hybrid of some kind, not a pure greylag I don't think?

SomersetWanderer's picture


I would agree, Greylag head would be darker as one identification point. As most farmyard geese originate from Greylags this is likely to be an escapee enjoying time away from the farm!

RoyW's picture

It's still a Greylag!

Although this goose does show features of domestic breeds, the identification is still correct.
Domestic Geese that have been bred from Greylags are still Greylags (in the same way as domesticated Mallard breeds are still Mallards).

Personally I would call this a domesticated Greylag, I would only refer to it as a hybrid if I thought it was a cross between a Greylag and another species.

bobthebirder's picture


I agree with Roy. Just as almost all farmyard ducks are mallards, most domesticated geese are greylags. See for discussions on what makes a hybrid.

Bob Ford

er2938's picture

Not a hybrid

Yes, I should have chosen my words more carefully. I think I was just being a bit snobbish about the true value of the sighting, as it is not a pure wild (or even feral) breed.

Yashca's picture

Actually, this could well

Actually, this could well have some Bar-Headed goose ancestry, not the overall pale colour, orangey beak, the subtle dusky shading on the neck. In that case, it would be a hybrid. Possibly F2 though.

RoyW's picture

Bar-headed Goose hybrid?

Looking closely at this goose, there are actually a number of features that could suggest some influence from another species (particularly if it is an F2 hybrid). The generally pale colour, and perhaps the dark spot behind the eye and relatively 'light' bill, might be an indication of some Bar-headed Goose ancestry, but without DNA there would be no way to prove this.
Some features, like the very pale plumage, can be seen in some domestic Greylag breeds, other features, like the traces of black on the top of the bill and the black feathering in the upperparts, should typically be shown by neither of these two goose species - odd features that don't seem to fit do occasionally crop up in both domestic breeds and hybrids though.

With (in my opinion) no really good reason to suspect a hybrid, I'm sticking with domestic Greylag (though will admit that there may well be some genes from another species involved).