Egyptian Geese in Heidelberg

by Lee Santiva January. 12, 2021 213 views
Nilgänse - Nile Geese - Alopochen aegyptiaca

Nilgänse - Nile Geese - Alopochen aegyptiaca

Heidelberg has always been a tourist magnet and has recently been attracting geese not only from the north (Canada) but also from the south - from Africa - specifically from Egypt.

The German word for this breed is "Nile Goose" or Nilgans after the River Nile in Egypt which is their origin.

It used to be that Heidelberg with its grassy banks along the Neckar river was like a restaurant stop-over for the geese, most of which had escaped captivity in the Netherlands (you see their numbered bands near their feet). However, since the winters have been so mild, they don't migrate further and have made their home along the river banks in and near Heidelberg.

Napping Nile Goose (Nilgans)

Napping Nile Goose (Nilgans)

They are considered an aggressive, invasive species by the local and state agricultural departments because they pollute the waters, drive out native wildlife and their population grows quickly.

The wildlife wardens of Heidelberg region were given permission to cull the flocks in the hunting season from September 1st 2020 to January 15th 2021. By November 2020, the wardens had shot already over 50 geese. Just this week in 2021 an ordinance was passed at state level (Baden-Württemberg) which extends the hunting season in attempt to get the problem birds under control.

Nile Goose crossing my path - He walks like a duck, not like an Egyptian :-)

Nile Goose crossing my path - He walks like a duck, not like an Egyptian :-)

This blog introduces my compact Canon G5X Mark II digital camera - the solution to my problem of lugging multiple lenses and heavy equipment whenever I was being out and about in nature.

On this particular day, it was cold and overcast and I had a doctor's appointment. But instead sitting in the waiting room, I decided to go outside to the park across the street and try out my new camera.

At the time, I didn't recognize the birds nor did I know their story because I was too concerned about setting the focus. It did not occur to me to use my fingers on the touch screen on the back of the camera to focus like on a smartphone. Once back at home, I searched online for the user manual and was really surprised since it was so much like a mirrorless camera otherwise.

Fortunately, a few of the photos captured in automatic mode that day turned out Ok enough that I can share this story with you on photoblog.

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There are 2 comments , add yours!
Berckmans Peter 4 months ago

We have many around here. Seems every year more. Congrats on your new camera.

4 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Berckmans Peter 4 months ago

Thanks Peter. It takes some getting used to: somethings are menu-driven, other touch-screen and others are old-fashioned knobs. I will be practicing

4 months ago Edited