|Common Nicknames||Big Ducks, Titled Birds|
The Goose is a medium-sized waterfowl native to many temperate and cold regions of Aloria. Their bodies and eggs can be used to create many useful products or tasty meals. It is widely believed today that the Sihai were the first to domesticate Geese in distant Dexai, with the rest of Aloria following centuries later after locating their own native species of Goose. They have long necks, and often are considered to have bad personalities, but none can deny their cleverness and tactics for attempted survival in the wild.
Geese have long been known across all of Aloria and even distant Dexai, being one of a select few wild animals to be domesticated relatively early into the history of the Sihai. It surprises many today, but indeed, Daen and even the Far West lacked wild Geese varieties. Instead, it was the Sihai who domesticated the Patterned Goose and who went on to use its eggs and feathers in a variety of ways. In regular Aloria, some suspect that the Ailor were the first to domesticate Geese, but others suggest the Qadir or perhaps even the Altalar were the first, though at a much later time when they had suitably expanded the Allorn Empire. Regardless of who it was, Geese soon spread across much of the civilized world and remains as such today. Their feathers are used by thousands daily as quills, their down is used in the creation of pillows and other items for the wealthy, while their eggs (though long since superseded by Chicken eggs) are consumed as a delicacy along with their meat. Many more Geese live in the wild in various areas of Aloria, often in large numbers.
The Goose is a medium-sized bird, anywhere from two and a half to three and a half feet in height when standing upright with their long necks, and weighing a variety of different amounts based on time of year and more. Their heads are small, with similarly small black eyes, their faces mostly dominated by the prominent beak that covers their face. They have a long neck that connects their head to their body, which is similar in many ways to that of a duck, except it is larger, with a broad wingspan and usually has a more gradual point in their tail feathers, forming something appearing more like a triangle. They stand on two webbed feet, often of bright orange coloration. Geese are covered in waterproof feathers of various colors that are based on subspecies.
The differences between male and female Geese are often difficult to detect, with a lack of clear gender dimorphism in feather coloration. Additionally, the population of males and females is equal. Below can be found a listing of the various subspecies of Goose in Aloria.
- Grey Goose: The most populous subspecies of Goose in Aloria, the Grey Goose has an orange bill and grey plumage, though the tone of this can widely vary. The species dwells in temperate and cold climates across Aloria and have been extensively domesticated by the Ailor, resulting in their spread into warmer climates. Extensive manipulation of their bloodline has produced one offshoot, entirely domesticated.
- White Goose: A result of a desire for pure white Geese, the White Goose is often seen mingled in with Grey Geese flocks, though by some estimates, is slowly taking over the major subspecies. There are estimates that within a century, the Grey Goose will have been eliminated as a domesticated species in all but the wilder or less connected places of Aloria.
- Hooded Goose: The Hooded Goose, also called the Wig Goose, is a rare breed of Goose native to temperate to humid regions only in Corontium . Its plumage is a clear mixture of black and white, with a prominent patch of white running from the top of their heads down the back of their neck to its base. They are not as domesticated as the Grey Goose but are often considered to be more suitable for wealthier individuals.
- Essa Goose: Also called the Colonial Goose, the Essa Goose is a species discovered in Essalonia by the Ailor. It has some of the most striking visual features, with a clear white mark along the underside of their head. Their faces and beaks are black, as are the tips of their tail features, but the center of their body is covered in off-grey feathers before ending in a patch of white feathers in their rear. They have not been domesticated whatsoever.
- Patterned Goose: Patterned Geese were perhaps the first to be domesticated anywhere in Aloria, and have very clear visuals. They have a clear pattern of two black bars sitting horizontally on their white-feathered heads. Their underbellies are grey with symmetrical patches of white on them, while their back, wings, and tails are a gradual fade from grey and white to black tail feathers. They also have dark feet rather than orange feet.
Life Span and Development
Geese are born in large beige or white eggs, which are larger than those of Ducks and Chickens, in clutches of anywhere from three to eight eggs. Geese goslings eventually peck their way out of these eggs and have radically different appearances than those of adults. Their feathers are a mix of either pale or bright yellow and brown, with a thick layer of down. This layer rapidly sheds itself as the goslings grow older, reaching maturity within one to two months of their emergence. Several months are required for their mental maturation to complete, but they often travel on migration if in the wild before that, helping this process. Geese are then able to pair, often upon returning from their migration, or in the case of domesticated Geese, whenever the mating season begins. Most Geese do not mate for life, though older members of the species tend to partner and stay partnered as long as possible. Geese can live up to twenty years in the wild, but up to thirty in domesticated surroundings.
Geese are considered by many to be fairly simple creatures, but this is often viewed as deceptive by others who know them better. Geese are often characterized as mischievous or with a hidden mean streak, most practically seen in their taking of small things or in their biting and hissing of people when they are in a bad mood. To each other and especially their young, Geese tend to be caring, and like other species of large waterfowl, they will attack those they deem to be threatening their goslings. Geese are also considered clever, able to escape poorly built cages with well-done tugs at cords, or jumps upward or down to different elevations. This is also seen through their use of sentries, which are Geese who stand at the edges of a group and keep their eyes in all directions, watching for predators or other dangers.
Territory and Groupings
Geese live in flocks of as many as fifty individuals in the wild but these are often smaller in domesticated surroundings. While some goslings will grow up and remain with their parents, others will join other or form their own flocks and create new family units. Geese have little sense of traditional territory, but they will return to certain areas with each migration, done to avoid winter climates. The wings of domesticated Geese are often clipped, and they are forced to ground and to seek out the shelter provided by their carers. Most domesticated Geese have lost their desire to migrate in the wedges that begin every autumn, but some still attempt it, perhaps driven by some core desire that Races are simply not aware of.
- Geese fly in V-formations in the sky, without exception, making them fairly unique among the avian animal species.
- Goose feathers are only just now being replaced with entirely metallic or largely metallic quills, likely bringing an end to the largest aspects of the goose-feather-quill industry within the next several decades.