Cauquén Real

January 23rd, 2009 Posted in fauna

Written by Shanie

The Cauquén Real, Ashy-Headed Goose, or Chloephaga poliocephala in Latin, is one of Patagonia’s unique feathered-friends.

This lover of southern South America is seen in both Chile and Argentina. It especially enjoys nesting, rooting for yummy treats and mating in the swampy and water-filled areas of the Lakes District. When scavenging for food, it favors clearings in the forest and is not known to use the lakes as a feeding ground. In fact, it tends to not like swimming at all.

A relatively large bird, it reaches around 20 inches in height at full maturity. The females tend to be a little smaller. Its coloring is distinctive, with a rust-colored neck and chest, dark-charcoal rear-end, white and black stripping to the wings, a white under-belly and a light grey head. The young are similar in looks but are less colorful and sport a brown head. When in flight the birds show a black and green aspect to their wings that can not be seen at rest. Another special part of their look is the impressive color variation to their legs; half is in black, the other side in orange. Their call is distinct yet different for the males and females; the male is whispered whitle and the female has a naggy, throaty holler.

It makes its nests in the tall grasses surrounding bodies of water, creating a home for four to six eggs. The males and females are both important aspects to raising the young.

As winter approaches the flocks of Cauquén Reals set forth to the north, searching out grasslands. Each spring brings them back to Patagonia.

  1. 3 Responses to “Cauquén Real”

  2. By sonja on Jan 27, 2009

    i was wondering what those birds were.. remember seeing lots of ‘em on the hotel llao llao golf course. thanks shanie!

  3. By Patagonia on Jan 27, 2009

    You’re welcome Sonja! Hope all is well.

  4. By non slip cet on Oct 14, 2014

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