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Wetland Waterfowl and Wildlife

Canada goose

Did you know

All Canada geese have a greyish body and a black head and neck with a distinctive white cheek patch. There are numerous subspecies or races with substantial differences and weight and size. Smaller subspecies are about the size of a small duck, while larger varieties can exceed nine kilograms with a wingspan of more than a metre.

Common name: Canada goose
Scientific name: Branta canadensis
Diet: Herbivorous; green vegetation and grains
Average life span: 10-24 years
Length: 75-110 cm
Weight: 2.5-5.5 kg (female), 3.2-6.5 kg (male)

Food & Habitat

Various, more often in open areas on and around wetlands of all types. Often found in cities and highly adaptable to human presence.

Canada geese graze on grass, eat grain from fields, and dabble in shallow water.

Breeding & Population

Canada geese mate for life and both parents rase the young. Females select the nest site, build the nest, and incubate the eggs. Males guard the nest while females incubate.

Coast to coast in Canada and into the far north.

Migration

Geese breeding in the northernmost parts of their range tend to migrate long distances to winter in the more southern parts of their range. Geese breeding in southern Canada and the United States migrate shorter distances, or not at all.

Interesting facts

  • Populations are generally increasing, partly because of habitat restoration and partly because they adapt superbly to the presence of man – feeding on waste grain in crop lands, nesting in urban areas and grazing on lawns.
  • They mate for life, with very low “divorce rates.”