First bar-headed goslings hatch in 10 years | Englishheadline


Three yellow goslings

The three goslings hatched a week ago

A nature reserve is celebrating the birth of its first bar-headed goslings in more than 10 years.

The three goslings hatched at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s (WWT) Washington Wetland Centre on 18 May.

Bar-headed geese normally live in Asia and fly up to 14,000ft (4,300m) to migrate over the Himalayas.

These live at WWT and staff said it was a mystery why they finally bred 10 years after their arrival, but the goslings were “incredibly exciting”.

The new arrivals are being cared for in the centre’s nursery where visitors can see them.

An adult bar-headed goose, which has a grey and brown body, white head with two thick black stripes running across it

Bar-headed geese usually live in Asia

The site’s marketing executive Leanne McCormella said: “We’re incredibly excited to have welcomed these three beautiful bar-headed goslings.

“New arrivals are always special, but as the first to have hatched at WWT Washington in more than a decade, they’re even more precious than usual.

“The adult birds have been in our collection for all that time and we genuinely don’t know what has triggered them to breed this season in particular.

“But whatever the reason, we’re just thrilled to have all three here safe and well and on show in the nursery area for all our visitors to see.”

The WWT said bar-headed geese

  • Spend winters in South Asia but breed in central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes

  • Lay between three and eight eggs a time in ground nests

  • They migrate over the Himalayas reaching more than 14,000ft and encountering freezing temperatures and extremely high winds

  • Can cope with low oxygen at high altitude thanks to a special type of haemoglobin in their blood

  • Fly at more than 50mph generating enough body heat to stop ice forming on their wings

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