Bar-headed Goose

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) is a medium sized goose that is not only known for its beautiful plumage, but for its ability to fly in extreme altitudes with ease. The small bill and legs of this species are an orangey-yellow color. Both sexes have white heads with black eyes, with two jet black bars extending from the back of their skulls towards the cheeks. The throat and back of the neck are also black, with a broad line of white plumage separating the two. The majority of Bar-headed Goose body plumage is silver, with dark brown or gray ribbing near the flanks. The underbelly to tail is white. In flight, the underside of Bar-headed Goose wings looks slivery gray, with the primaries and secondaries flaring with black.

The Bar-headed Goose reaches high altitudes over the Himalayan Mountain Range to make it to their breeding grounds in the Spring. Their lungs have adapted to the low oxygen levels due to their large lungs and are able to bind oxygen to hemoglobin more efficiently than other species. This species is highly gregarious during the breeding season, often forming colonies with over a thousand individuals. Pairs usually remain monogamous during the breeding season, and some pairs have been reported to stay with the same partner over the course of a few years. Breeding grounds are typically near mountain lakes. Their breeding range extends from Mongolia to Russia, Western China to Tibet, and to Kyrgyzstan.

BAR-HEADED GOOSE. Next-to-last unicorn on personal “Ducket List” that now exceeds 100 sub-species worldwide. Our paths finally crossed in Mongolia. Other unique species were ruddy shelduck, common shelducks and swan goose. Plenty mallards, pintails and Eurasian wigeons. The amazing Asian Steppe country of Mongolia was one of the most unlikely looking places we’ve ever waterfowl hunted, amazing culture and history. Will make it back one day in future.  It was the second trip to Asia, in the steppes of Mongolia, that I managed to scratch a real unicorn off the list. Written about in ancient and mythological literature, bar-headed geese migrate at high altitudes in the Himalayan mountains, where there’s only 10-percent the amount of oxygen found at sea level. Their migration from wintering grounds in Southern Asia takes them through one of the most unique places you’ll ever hunt waterfowl. Very few grace the shelves of game rooms. #GetDucks in Mongolia.

Bar Headed Goose Hunt Mongolia