This 61-76 cm long species is a resident breeder in the forests of tropical South America. Its preference is forest lakes or marshes with access to open woodland or savanna.
It has a pale head and neck, chestnut flanks, dark upperparts and blackish wings with a white speculum. The legs are red and the bill is black. The sexes of this striking species are identical in plumage, though the males are larger; juveniles are duller than adults.
This is a largely terrestrial species, which will also perch readily on trees. It rarely swims or flies unless hard pressed. In flight it looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck, whence the English name.
Orinoco Goose is a very territorial species in the breeding season, and usually nests in hollow trees, only occasionally on the ground. The male has a high pitched whistling call, and the female cackles like the related Egyptian Goose.
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