Another 'odd' Aussie...
The Magpie Goose is a very unusual bird. It is effectively a living fossil and the sole survivor of an ancient family of primitive waterfowl, found now in northern Australia and parts of New Guinea. The group evolved on the southern continent of Gondwana and became extinct everywhere else. Large nomadic flocks are found in the wetlands of the Kakadu and other areas in the north. The Magpie Goose does not have fully webbed feet like other waterfowl, and often breeds as a group - rearing the goslings communally. It is not often seen in Zoos and for the first time at Hamerton two pairs have joined the collection; from a private breeder in Belgium. They arrived a while ago, but are now on display after completing the isolation period required under the EU BALAI regulations.
Returning to the Park after a gap of a few years is the beautiful little Red-breasted Goose. These birds have bred well here in the past, and both new species are sharing paddocks with our wallabies.