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Endemic to Ethiopia, the Abyssinian blue-winged goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera) is named for its powder blue upper wing converts – the remainder of its wings are brown. The scientific name means Cyanochen (dark blue goose) cyanopterus (dark blue feathers). It is one of the most unique birds in Africa, as its closest genetic relative lives in South America. It’s known for resting its neck on its back, even when it walks. Found in marshes, streams and damp grasslands it feeds on grasses and other green parts of various plants; insects and small reptiles. The plumage of these birds is fur-like to cope with the cold of the Ethiopian highlands. During courtship, the male struts around the female, his head bent over his back, and his bill pointed skywards or behind him. Such posture exposes his blue wing patch.
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