Birders who've gotten used to droves of the usual Canada Geese in our county parks have been puzzling over a new pair of geese seen in Donaldson several times over the 2002-2003 winter. They're generally lighter colored and look as though they've gotten black eyes fighting. These are Egyptian geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus), and yes they really are from Egypt--but only by way of some local zoo or farm. They are escapees. The Sibley Guide to Birds notes "small numbers feral in southern California," so if our pair (both adult) settle in and nest, we may have the beginning of an East Coast colony. One bird is slightly more strongly colored than the other; this might be a male/female slight difference, though the bird books say male and female are alike in plumage.
Photo: Gabor Grunstein