The first, and in some respects least typical, member of the group is the Coscoroba (Coscoroba candida), a large bird of southern South America. By some writers it is placed with the Swans, but, on the whole, it seems best located here, since in its structure, habits, “language,” and flight it is decidedly more Goose-like. It is pure white, with the tips of the quills black,and the bill and the legs bright rosy red. It is usually seen in small parties, though occasionally in flocks of several hundred individuals, and when disturbed has a “loud, musical, trumpeting cry in three notes.” The nest, usually placed away from water, is built on the ground, of mud, weeds, and grasses, and the large, shining white eggs are eight or nine in number.
The typical Geese the true Geese par excellence belong, to the number of a dozen or more species, to the genus Anser, and are characterized by having the plumage brownish, the feathers of the back, etc., with lighter tips, and the lower parts pale brownish gray or grayish white, with the upper and under tail-coverts pure white. There is usually very little if any black on the head and the tail-feathers are sixteen in number. Only two forms are found in North America.