About the cover
animal on the cover of C# 3.0 Design Patterns is a greylag goose (Anser
probably one of the first domesticated animals. Archaeological evidence
that domestic geese lived in ancient Egypt and Rome 3,000 years ago.
Fairly large birds, usually weighing between 5–12 pounds, greylag geese
average wingspan of 59–66 inches and are generally 29–30 inches in
plumage is grayish-brown, their bellies are white, and their lower
breasts are shaded
gray. Their bills are large and yellow, and their feet and legs are a
color. (Younger geese have gray legs and feet that turn pinker as they
They are migratory birds that fly south or west in the winter to escape
weather. During the summer, they live in Scotland, Iceland,
Scandinavia, as far east
as Russia, Poland, and Germany. In autumn, the geese in Iceland migrate
British Isles, while the rest of the greylag geese in Europe head to
places like the
Netherlands, Spain, France, and East Africa.
A social bird, it travels long distances in groups, often in the
familiar v-shape pattern.
Their groups range from small families to flocks with tens of thousands
The time at which their breeding season begins depends on their
In Scotland, breeding starts in late April; in Iceland it starts in
early May; and in
Europe, it starts earlier. During breeding season, greylag geese live
in marshes and
fens—places with a lot of vegetation. Nests are built in high places to
keep their eggs
safe from predators.
A mother can lay as many as 12 eggs, but she usually lays between 4 and
6. She incubates
the eggs for approximately 26 days. Once hatched, the goslings wait
are dry to leave the nest. Young birds feed themselves with their
Twenty years is their average life expectancy.
Greylag geese thrive on grasses, roots, rhizomes of marsh plants, and
animals. They also have a taste for some root crops—turnips, potatoes,
carrots—a real concern for farmers in Europe.
Golden eagles, ravens, and hawks are among their predators in the sky;
when on the
ground, they have to be vigilant for prowling dogs, foxes, and humans.
hunt geese for their flavorful meat and their down, or soft feathers.
Down is often
used to stuff pillows, blankets, and outdoor clothing.
Caesar, the Roman emperor, declared greylag geese as sacred in 390
B.C., and he
made it illegal to kill and consume them.
Caesar credited them with saving his
empire from attack. He believed that when the Gauls tried to invade,
the geeses’ loud
calls alerted the Romans and saved them from occupation.
The cover image is from Dover Animals Book. The cover font is Adobe
The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad
Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont’s TheSans Mono Condensed.