The mountain goose is a medium-sized goose, from other from afar with its light color and white head. Quite high on the legs are good, though somewhat clumsily, walks well and runs fast, in critical cases, helping in the wings. Essentially mountain geese are terrestrial birds, as the majority of their time on earth. But at the same time, they freely feel on the water, and it in many cases are looking for salvation.
When flying geese roam the mountain at high altitude angle, diagonally or two converging lines, and advanced goose every 4-5 minutes is replaced by the following. A low rumbling voice distinctive and sharply different from the voice of grey goose. On the fly the cries of the mountain the geese could hear before she could see their flock. Sinking on the water, birds are doing it over one or two of the circle, then the pack is reduced and each individual goose, in some cases, turned over once or twice in the air.
In places where they don’t catch them and don’t shoot, they are not only not afraid of people, but even sometimes roam the outskirts of the settlements, looking for food here, and are diurnal. Where they are persecuted, are characterized by extreme caution and be a night bird, resting by day on the inaccessible areas of the ponds.
During molting hold water and for feeding out little available on the shallows and spit. But as soon as the geese will rise again on the wing, and the young will be able to fly, mountain geese gather in flocks, on the day climb in the impenetrable slums, to feed out in the evening and graze by night. The members of the pack are extremely attentive to each other, and when firing at the flock, and wounded one of them, the geese turn, make a few circles over the fallen comrade, sometimes down to him, and sometimes even take it with you.
Mountain geese are very curious. In the wilderness they are very easy to lure to himself, as he did Przewalski, who noticed in the distance flying up the mountain geese, lay down on the ground and began waving the hat, that whenever encouraged geese on his road out and pounce right on him.
Area. The mountain goose is an endemic bird of Central Asia, it is a characteristic of the Nagorno-Asian species, only occasionally coming from outside Central Asia. The extreme North-Western points of the area are the plateau Ukok and Kurai steppe in the Altai. Northern limits of distribution here are at the Chui steppe and further to the limits of the Mongolian people’s Republic on the lake Urug Nord pool R. TESI, a tributary of lake UVS-nor, lake Kosogol, the valleys of the rivers Kerulen and Tola. During summer the mountain goose is also found North of these limits — in South Baikal, in the Selenga river and lake tarei-nor, but reliable data on nesting are not available. To the South and South-East of here is going to Ordos, lake Kuku-Hop and southern edge of Tibet to Ladakh, Kashmir, the Pamir and the Alai valley, which is at the South-Western points of the area. To the North-East of here along the Tien Shan, semirech’e, where found on the mountainous lakes of Chatyr-Kul (3500 m above sea level), on the lake son-Kul mountain lake dzhasyl-Kul. on the lakes in the upper reaches of the lake. Sauce, at the mouth of Khelu and Bankole. Still further to the North-East nests in Dzungaria and Chinese Turkestan. Within the delineated, so the scope of an area sporadically breeds in the high mountain reservoirs of Central Asia.
Winters in Pakistan, Punjab, Assam and the Northern part of India. South comes to sind, Bombay, and occasionally to the southern provinces. Also found in winter on large rivers of North Burma. There are also wintering in Balochistan.
The nature of being. Mountain goose — nesting and migrating bird. The exception is found in winter on the Panj in South Tajikistan.
Date. From the wintering grounds in India and Pakistan begins to fly off in March, the last to disappear in April. On the cook-Nora appear in the beginning of the second decade of March — in mid-March. Although the place of their mountain nests the geese leave completely only with the freezing of water, however, the autumn migration in a number of locations begins previously, the proof of which may be the presence of well-pronounced migration in Tien Shan in August. From the Northern limits of the range mountain geese disappear quite early in the more southern delayed until the end of September and even until October. In the southern parts of the area are delayed until the latest opportunity for not only local, but came from more Northern regions, as in Pakistan and India, there are only half of October.
Spring and fall the direction of movements appears to be not the same as, for example, on the Forehead-Nora fall mountain goose common on migration, in spring, on the contrary, rare.
Biotope. In the mountainous landscape of different mountain bodies of water — lakes, rivers, open hummocky marshes at the headwaters of rivers and streams with available them near cliffs or large cliffs. High plateaus plains open freshwater or saltwater ponds, swamps and rivers with Islands in them, or with tall trees along the banks.
The number. In large quantities and only in some places in Tibet and Ladakh, in other parts of the range mountain goose was pretty ordinary, with the exception of the Tien Shan, where he met rarely. Recently, however, the number of mountain goose is markedly decreased, and some places in the Pamirs and Tian-Shan, he disappeared altogether.
Reproduction. The first time upon arrival at the nesting areas of mountain goose are kept in small groups or flocks up to 20 individuals. After some time, observed in nesting areas, broken down into pairs, along with the air game, which consists in the fact that the male on-the-fly rushes for the female, turning in the air.
Breeds in small colonies or in 3-5-7 nests, located not far one from the other, or quite large, as observed in Tibet. Nests are on cliffs, in tall trees or on the ground on Islands near the shores of ponds or in open swampy areas. On the cliffs the nests are placed on ledges, one near the other.
Nests located in trees, are built at a height of 4-6 m above the ground. Sometimes nests are mountain geese near nests of upland kurganka. Nests in trees and on the rocks are constructed of thin branches, have a shallow pan and sloppy construction. Nests are placed on dry bogs, represent a deepening in the moss, lined with dry remnants of plants and thickly covered with fuzz. On wet bogs, the nest is a pile of moss, mixed with stems of grasses, with a lot of fluff in the tray and the edges of the slot. Consequently, the device sockets are quite diverse.
The clutch consists of 4-8, often 4-6, white with frosted shade and rough egg shells.
The timing of incubation, data not available. Due to the different timing of egg-laying Chicks in the territory of the range appear at different times. In the Altai in the lower areas before the Chicks hatch.
If you brood all the time and there are male and female. In case of danger the parents transferred the Chicks to the water, and the family sailed out of reach. On the cook-Hole and other large bodies of water, dozens of broods together. Usually a flock of geese grazing on the land, but, noticing the danger, all the geese rush to the water and quickly swim away from the shore. The same phenomenon is observed in Altai.
Molt. A complete summer moult in June-July. The question of partial autumn moult is not clear. Just before molting begins in the Altai mountain of geese. About the middle of June to the Achit-Nur was already changing primaries, and the majority of geese could not fly. In Chui steppe near Kosh-Agach molt begins later, and 24 June, adults were tripandom the pen, but have not yet initiated molt. Again rose in the Altai on the wing by 15 August and 24 August on the lower part of the plateau Ukok adults have all flown, have produced birds Mahi was too young” to normal and stronger than before. Changed all the feathers of the upper parts of the body and growing on the bottom. Still not over the molt of the tail feathers and the feathers of the upper part of the chest. Simultaneously with the molt of adults is a process of growing the first cover and the young.
In the Pamir mountain geese molt occurs later. Adult male obtained on August 14, the flight feathers are back in stumps, growing middle tail feathers. There are more old, not changed the feathers on the nape, on the back (a little) on the middle wing coverts, scapulars and on the sides. Young fluff from later broods in the Pamirs are found even in late August.
The complete summer moult of adults starts with the simultaneous loss of flight feathers. After this drop the upper wing coverts, under wing coverts the same time form the edge, then they are replaced and continue with the growth of the flight feathers there is a change of contour feathers. It continues to molt even after they came into their own primaries, but the entire shedding process takes place in a shorter time than some of the Northern species of geese.
Food. The main food of mountain geese are terrestrial plants, produced on the banks of various water bodies or away from them. In large numbers they consume the grasses and sedges in riparian meadows, eat seeds of cereals and legumes on the wintering feed on seedlings of cereals. In addition, they are often seen on the coasts and waters from a coastal strip where they, turning over the sediment, eats algae, crustaceans and other invertebrates.
Economic value. Of commercial importance in the USSR due to its total small number have not and are only subject to sport hunting. Easily tamed and can be involved in home turnover in the mountains. Domesticated geese meet in the Pamirs.
The size and structure. Wingspan of males and females 1422-1676 mm. Weight of males and females 2-3,2 kg. Beak shorter than the head, of equal width throughout, except for a rounded vertex. The claw takes up most of the upper mandible, overhanging sloping over the mandible. NARES narrow and long. The toothed edges of the closed beak is not visible. The plumage of the forehead and cheek arcs comes on the ridge of the upper mandible and his side. Mandible thin. The wings reach the top of the tail. 8 pairs of tail feathers, the tail is rounded. Tarsus long. Paw short and middle finger with the claw much shorter than her. The rear finger with well developed blade. The square bone is massive, almost not tilted forward and is located under smaller than other geese, an angle to the longitudinal axis of the skull .
Down jacket. Just hatched puhovichki bright straw-yellow with a brownish-gray spot on the crown, with light olive-brown shoulders, back, wings and rump and pale yellow hem . Older Chicks with long beak 27-27. 5 mm (along the ridge) is very different. They have a dorsal side light-smoky-brown, posterior half of crown is slightly lighter. Upper neck speckled with admixture of white fluff. The underparts are white; the white color of the bottom few sets in the top behind the shoulders and lower leg. Flanks and craw are white with a slight smoky flavor .
The young bird. Plain gray, without transverse bands. Forehead, sides of head, flanks and upper half of the neck, chin and throat are white. Crown, nape, rest of upper neck are dark gray. After the second moult boys starting to get dark transverse bands on crown and nape. The final adult plumage is worn, apparently, not until after the third molt.
Adult males and females. General colour light brownish-grey. Head and sides of neck white. On top of the head and the back of the head with two black transverse bands. Upper neck brownish-grey. Back dark ashy-grey wavy bands. The throat is white. The bottom of the neck blackish-brown. Goiter ash-gray. Boca brown. The beak is reddish-yellow with a black claw. Legs mountain goose reddish-yellow. The iris is dark brown.