Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)


Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera)


French: Cyanoie à ailes bleues German: Blauflügelgans Spanish: Ganso aliazul

Bernicla cyanoptera


, 1845,

Shoa, Ethiopia




Highlands of Ethiopia.

Descriptive notes

60–75 cm; male 2000–2360 g, female 1305–1520 g. Almost unmistakable. Often walks or rests with head held backwards. Male has brownish to ashy-coloured head... read more


High-pitched and whistle-like, with male giving weak “whew-whu-whu-whu” in mild alarm and a forced... read more


Grassy meadows and pastures above 1400 m, more usually above 2100 m and up to 4500 m, adjacent to... read more

Food and feeding

Grasses, sedges and green parts of other plants obtained by grazing on dry land in meadows and rough pasture along river banks;... read more


Starts Mar and continues through dry season until Jun, and also lays towards end of long rains in Sept. In single pairs; nest built on or... read more


Mostly sedentary, with only a few, small-scale movements recorded, generally related to altitudinal... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Still considered locally common within its very restricted range, with overall population most recently estimated by BirdLife International at 3300–10,... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 9 April 2020).