Goose

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The word goose (plural: geese) is the English name for a considerable number of birds, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than true geese, and ducks, which are smaller.

This article deals with the true geese in the subfamily Anserinae, tribe Anserini.

A number of other waterbirds, mostly related to the shelducks, have "goose" as part of their name.

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Etymology

The word Goose is a direct descendant of Proto-Indo-European root, *ghans-. In Germanic languages, the root gave Old English gōs with the plural gēs and gandra (becoming Modern English goose, geese, and gander, respectively), New High German Gans, Gänse, and Ganter and Old Norse gās. This term also gave Lithuanian žąsìs, Irish (swan, from Old Irish géiss), Latin anser, Greek chēn, Albanian gatë (heron), Sanskrit hamsá, Avestan zāō, Polish gęś, Russian гусь, Czech husa.

The term goose applies to the female in particular. The word gander is used for a male in particular. Young birds before fledging are called goslings. A group of geese on the ground is called a gaggle; when geese fly in formation they are called a wedge or a skein (see also list of collective nouns for birds).

True geese

There are three living genera of true geese: Anser – Grey Geese, including the domesticated goose and the Swan Goose, Chen – White Geese (often included in Anser), and Branta – Black Geese, such as the Canada goose.

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