The Cape Barren Geese (Cereopsis Novaehollandiae) were believed to be juvenile Black Swans when initially viewed by early European settlers. Their thick, stubby black bill is almost completely obscured by an extensive pale, greenish-yellow waxy cere at the base, a peculiarity reflected in the generic name Cereopsis, from the Greek for “Wax-like”. Plump, long-legged geese with rather unusual ash-gray plumage, their powerful, broad wings are armed with hard bony knobs, and their long, black foot claws are sharp. They are capable diving geese if they need it and have well-developed supraorbital salt glands enable them to dwell in regions with little or no fresh water. Some sweet water is derived from their plant food, but the geese can drink brackish water without ill effects. They fly on rapid, swallow wing beats at low to moderate heights in staggered lines, or loose unstructured groups. While sociable and gregarious, flocks seldom exceed three hundred birds. Foraging in family parties or small groups, Cape Barren Geese (Cereopsis Novaehollandiae) graze in open country on natural and improved grasslands, as well as intertidal mud flats. They feed on pasture grasses, seeds and legumes, and on wheat and barley crops in summer. The nesting season extends throughout the austral winter, from late May to August, and rarely into October and November. Their pair bonds are seemingly lifelong. Pair formation begins as early as one year of age, but successful breeding generally does not occur until their third year. Pairs habitually mate ashore rather than in the water, and copulation can persist into the post-hatching period. Their nests are placed beneath bushes, or even 6-10 feet up in low shrubs or trees. Most pairs nest within 150 yards of the coast on rocky promontories on the windward west side where, favored sites are used year after year. Females lose about one-fifth of their weight while incubating for up to 37 days, an incubation period ranking among the longest of any waterfowl.