Now that you’re acquainted with the sublime madness of manky mallards and manky muscovies, perhaps you’re ready to be initiated into the next circle of Domestic Waterfowl Hell: the ganky goose.

Most of the world’s domestic geese can be traced back thousands of years to the wild Greylag Goose (Anser anser) although domestic geese were also bred from Swan Goose (A. cygnoides) ancestors. Like manky mallards, ganky geese display remarkable variety due to both the methodical manipulations of breeders and the variable volatility of the more natural kind of breeding. Feral geese run the gamut from pure white to almost entirely gray or brown. Even the ones that bear the same plumage as their progenitors, however, can usually be distinguished by their larger bulk. The smaller white breeds like Czechs and Romans may be separated from Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) by the lack of black feathering and even different-shaped bills.

The fact that wild geese can interbreed, hybridize, and mutate makes identification of some domestic geese quite challenging. I’m still getting the hang of this particular breed of avian madness, and so defer to more enlightened readers to tell me if this bird is ganky or not:

Are ganky geese even interesting to birders? We certainly see enough of them, don’t we? I’m willing to further delve into these dangerous waterfowl if you are…

*** Have you seen any ganky geese lately? ***
If you have great photos of domestic geese you’d like us to add to this gallery, send them to mike AT 10000birds DOT com!

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.