Orinoco Goose (Neochen jubata)

Orinoco Goose

[order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Neochen jubata | [authority] Spix, 1825 | [UK] Orinoco Goose | [FR] Ouette d’Orenoque | [DE] Orinokogans | [ES] Ganso de Monte (Arg), Ganso del Orinoco | [NL] Orinoco-gans


Monotypic species


The Orinoco Goose (Neochen jubata ) is a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae, and is the only living member of the genus Neochen. Two fossil relatives have been described from Late Pleistocene sites: Neochen pugil and Neochen debilis of Brazil and Argentina, respectively.

Physical charateristics

The Orinoco Goose is an attractive bird, clad in pale grayish buff over the head and neck, with a rufous belly and back, and mostly blackish wings relieved by a green-and-white patterned speculum.

Listen to the sound of Orinoco Goose

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/ANSERIFORMES/Anatidae/sounds/Orinoco Goose.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Chris Parrish

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 61 cm size max.: 66 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 30 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 6  
      eggs max.: 10  


South America : Amazonia. Neochen jubata remains relatively widespread in South America east of the Andes, from east Colombia and Venezuela (where taken together there are probably 5,000-10,000 individuals), Ecuador (previously thought to just be a vagrant, but a small population of 20-30 now known from the Rio Pastaza area), Guyana, Suriname (no recent records and may never have been more than a vagrant), south through Amazonian Brazil (where there are thought to be 2,000-4,000 individuals in the Cantao and Bananal Island region alone), extreme east Peru (relatively common), Bolivia (perhaps a few thousand pairs) and west Paraguay (two records) to extreme north-west Argentina (either very scarce there now or just a vagrant).


Its modern-day strongholds appear to be the savannas of northern Bolivia, the llanos region of northeastern Colombia and western Venezuela, and the Ilha do Bananal in central Brazil. Principally found in lowland areas, it occurs along forest-covered banks of rivers, as well as in wet savannas and around large freshwater wetlands. These birds are very comfortable ashore, they run in a distinct manner, and frequently perch in trees. Pairs become very unsociable and increasingly aggressive at the onset of the breeding season (January in Colombia and Venezuela)


The Orinoco Goose is a very territorial species in the breeding season, and usually nests in hollow trees, only occasionally on the ground. The courtship display consists of various dances and contortions during which both partners move with small steps, their bodies held stiff and their necks outstretched. The male beats his wings vigorously in front of the female of his choice. Fierce fighting can take place between rival males. The nest is built in a hollow tree trunk. The female lines it with down plucked from her own breast. Incubation lasts for about a month, clutch size is 6-10 eggs.

Feeding habits

Their food consists of grass and other plants on which they browse as well as insect and small animals which they skilfully catch in their beaks.

Video Orinoco Goose


copyright: oswaldotanager


This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is continueing to undergo a moderately rapid population reduction owing to hunting pressure. It is still locally common in certain areas and, with proper protection, would be much more abundant over its wide range.
The current decline is attributed to heavy and continuing hunting pressure, although availability of foraging habitat may limit numbers locally, the abundance of the species on certain private reserves where it is well protected indicate that hunting is the primary reason for its decline.
Orinoco Goose status Near Threatened


Sedentary with some small local movements in the post-breeding period.

Distribution map

Orinoco Goose distribution range map

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