Fun Kelp Goose Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
May 10, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Tehil David
Kelp Goose facts about a goose species whose males and females are of different colors.

The Kelp Goose is a bird native to Southern South America, in the Falkland Islands, Chile, and Tierra del Fuego. These birds belong to the family Anatidae and the shelduck subfamily of Tadorninae.

The species gets its name from its preferred choice of food, the kelp algae seaweed plant. These birds choose their habitat according to the availability of their favored food sources, mainly rocky coasts.

The species displays sexual dimorphism. The males have white bodies and the females have black bodies. Also, the males are slightly longer and heavier than the females.

The calls of the males and females of the Kelp Goose species are also noticeably different, the former having a quieter whistler and the latter having a louder grunt. The Kelp Goose bird species do not fly often.

They reproduce by mating and laying eggs, in clutches of 2-7. They are considered to be fairly protected naturally, hence their conservation status according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is ' Least Concerned'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other insects including the goose or the Hornbill here.

Kelp Goose Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Kelp Goose?

The Kelp Goose (Chloephaga hybrida) is a goose from the Anatidae family of swans, geese, and ducks.

What class of animal does a Kelp Goose belong to?

The Kelp Goose (Chloephaga hybrida) belongs to the bird (Aves) class of animals.

How many Kelp Geese are there in the world?

There are believed to be around 15,000 pairs (30,000 individuals) of Kelp Geese in the world.

Where does a Kelp Goose live?

The Kelp Goose (Chloephaga hybrida) lives near the coastline; rocky coasts, shingle beaches, freshwater lakes, shrubs, and tall grasses.

What is a Kelp Goose's habitat?

It is known to inhabit the Southern regions of South America, particularly Chile, the Falkland Islands, and Tierra del Fuego. A Kelp Goose loves to live near its favorite food, which is kelp.

It also likes plant food sources, so it forages and feeds next to coastlines and rocky coasts. It also frequents fresh-water bodies to drink and bathe. It likes low rocks and tall grasses during the breeding season.

Who do Kelp Geese live with?

Kelp Geese live with their mates and in groups as big as 300.

How long does a Kelp Goose live?

A Kelp Goose (Chloephaga hybrida) may live for 10-20 years.

How do they reproduce?

Kelp Geese reproduce by mating and laying eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The Conservation Status of Kelp Geese according to the IUCN is 'Least Concern'.

Kelp Goose Fun Facts

What do Kelp Geese look like?

Kelp Goose is known to inhabit rocky, coastal areas.

A Kelp Goose (Chloephaga hybrida) is 22-26 in (55-65 cm) long and displays sexual dimorphism. The adult males, adult females, and juveniles of the Kelp Geese species have different colors and appearances.

The grown male Kelp Goose is ever-so-slightly bigger than the female. It is almost completely white with a black bill, and a patch at its culmen base that is red or yellow. It has dark brown eyes and yellow legs and webbed feet.

The female Kelp Geese are largely blackish-brown, with white upper wing coverts and blackish greater coverts that have a greenish gloss. The female's tail is white, head and neck are brown and its bill is a pale pink or pinkish yellow. A white eyering surrounds the dark brown eyes of a female.

The juvenile has duller plumage and looks like an adult female. A male juvenile gets its adult white plumage by the second year of its life when its feet are still greenish-yellow.

How cute are they?

The Kelp Goose (Chloephaga hybrida) is an extremely beautiful animal to look at. It is a moderately-sized gorgeous bird.

Its males and females have different colors, the males being mostly white, and the females being mostly dark brown, but they are both equally beautiful. It has many other endearing qualities. It is a herbivore, it mates for life, and during molting, it lives in groups of 300.

How do they communicate?

Kelp Geese communicate via vocal calls, however, it is not characterized as a particularly vocal bird. The male Kelp Goose makes a repetitive and weak 'sip sip sip' whistle. The call of the female Kelp Goose can be characterized as honking, a grunt with louder snarling notes.

How big is a Kelp Goose?

The Kelp Goose is 22-26 in (55-65 cm) long, which makes it about four times bigger than the House Sparrow.

How fast can a Kelp Goose fly?

Since Kelp Geese (C. hybrida) live near the coast, they do not fly much. But they are seen flying for short distances and being Geese, their speeds may be assumed to be around 30 mph (48 kph).

How much does a Kelp Goose weigh?

A male Kelp Goose typically weighs around 5.7 lb (2.6 kg), while a female is lighter, around 4.4 lb (2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male of the species may be called a goose, and the female may be called a goose or a gander.

What would you call a baby Kelp Goose?

A baby Kelp Goose may be called a fledgling or a gosling.

What do they eat?

A Kelp Goose usually eats plant matter, especially kelp. They also eat sea lettuce and grasses. The Kelp Goose diet involves berries during the winter, too.

Are they dangerous?

Kelp Geese aren't particularly dangerous. They only attack when they feel their eggs are threatened. Even then, their attacks are pretty much benign.

Would they make a good pet?

They are intuitive and smart, but their preferred habitat is the coast, so they may not do well in captivity. Also, they mate for life, and their molting rituals involve as many as 300 other Geese, and their habitat and populations should be left alone.

Did you know...

The Kelp Goose (C. hybrida) species comes from the Family Anatidae, the same as 174 other species and 43 genera of swans, geese, and ducks. The Anatidae family, genus Chloephaga includes three other birds, the upland goose, the ashy-headed goose, and the ruddy-headed goose.

The genus is almost all found in the Southern part of the continent of South America. The ruddy-headed goose is almost the same as the Kelp Goose range, except it is also found in Southern Argentina.

The genus is also known as 'sheldgeese'. And the subfamily Tadorninae is also known as the sheld geese-shelduck subfamily.

Why are they called Kelp Geese?

They are called Kelp Geese because their preferred food is the seaweed algae kelp. They live on the rocky coastline for this food and are seen traveling for it as well.

How to tell a male from a female Kelp Goose?

The males of the Kelp Goose Family are heavier than the females, and slightly larger as well. The most noticeable difference is the colors of the plumage. The male's plumage is all white, whereas the female's plumage is blackish-brown. The female's chest also has gray, transverse lines on it.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including Scarlet Macaw, or magpie.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Kelp goose coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Tehil David

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

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Tehil DavidBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David Singh is a fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in English literature from St.Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, and a Master's degree in Philosophy, and Religion from Madurai Kamaraj University. He has a passion for writing and hopes to become a story writer in the future. Tehil has previously interned in content writing and has been a content creator for the last three years. In his personal life, he enjoys singing, songwriting, performing, and writing stories.

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