Date: July 2001
Place: Hoorn, the Netherlands
The photo is taken in a small northern city called Hoorn in the Netherlands. In summer 2001 we were invited by our friends from this country to spend there several weeks of our holiday.
The ducks and geese there walk freely on the street and gladly accept some food from the pedestrians, especially such tourists as we were. Most probably they are domesticated birds, but maybe several of them belong to true geese having a stop there during migration and benefiting from the presence of humans.
Ducks, geese and swans form the biological family called Anatidae with about 146 species in 40 genera. These birds are adapted for swimming, floating on the water surface, and sometimes diving in shallow water. Most of them are herbivorous, although some species, like the mergansers, also feed on fish and various aquatic invertebrates. Ducks, geese and swans are generally seasonal and monogamous (have one sexual partner for a lifetime) breeders.
There are five species of Anatidae that had become extinct since 1600 due to human activity; many more members of this family are threatened with extinction.