Sunday, June 11, 2006

"Eigen ganzen eerst!" ["Own geese first!"]

I came across a report a few days ago, and couldn’t stop laughing.

Michiel Smit of the Nieuw Rechts (New Right) party wants to banish the migrant Egyptian Nile-goose from the country because “they are not adapting” and are supposed to be “rather aggressive”, causing problems for the other geese. He calls upon hunters to take “drastic action” against this geese invasion.

According to a bird expert from Vogelbescherming (Bird Protection) the Egyptian Nile-goose is completely integrated into the indigenous population. They get along while with other geese, and are even breeding in the country.

Here is a fragment from RTL News (click on the videocam button next to ‘ganzen’.)

I did a little investigation of my own yesterday.

Is the Eygptian Nile-goose integrated into the Dutch population and landscape?

My observations confirm that the Egyptian Nile-goose are fully integrated.

Within a time span of a couple of minutes I saw at least three Egyptian Nile-goose families (with young). They were grazing and swimming, and walking around like the other geese. From afar you would not even notice the difference.

The only difference is that their down is more exotic looking, and of a different colour. Their body size seems to be generally bigger than the others as well.

They were quiet and did not cause much nuisance, unlike the other (indigenous) ducks and geese, which were making an awful racket and being anti-social. From personal experience it is the local and Canadian geese that are more aggressive, and sometimes resort to pecking and kicking if you do not give them food.

The Eygptian Nile-geese were mingling with the local mallards, indigenous white geese (the so-called "autochtones") as well as a large horde of Canadian geese.

One important observations was that all the ducklings and goose-lings look the same. The young apparently have the same gray feathers, and all still cannot fly. It is only after reaching adulthood that obvious differences can be seen, but this does not seem to hinder integration between the different 'races'.

No obvious conflicts or inter-racial squabbling were observed. Nor were there obivous contestations for territory and water between the different geese population.

There was one group of around six geese-lings which had a mix of colours and patterns on their down--they had the white feathers from the indigenous goose, but also black and brown feathers, presumably from the 'other' geese. They could not be classfied into one or the other 'race' of goose, and were swimming in a group by themselves. Preliminary conclusion is that they were the results of inter-racial breeding.

Unfortunately due to communication barriers interviews could not be conducted at this time.


The Egyptian Nile-goose have become part of the Dutch (geese) population. To advocate exterminating or banning them from the country is in-goosane and immoral. Many of the families have probably been here for generations, and their young were born and bred here. They are as Dutch as any of the other geese or birds. Noone is advocating the extermination or deportation of the Canadian goose, so why single out the Egyptian equivalent?

The fact that the young look the same is important to note. Only after growing up can they be differentiated, but that should and does not seem to form any barrier for integration. They may look different, they may have different living, grazing or swimming habits, but essentially they are 'geese', nothing more, nothing less than their fellow goos-itens.

The multicultural society is an undeniable phenomenon based on mutual respect, coexistence and acceptance within the goose population. It should be an example to human beings.

a well integrated Nile-goose family

Canadian goose family, also well integrated

the multiculti society of geese

from a distance you cannot even notice the 'racial' differences Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great story, great observations... may be the conclusion for people should be as always: give them food and games!