Branta canadensis

Canada goose. ©DUC

The spectacle of Canada geese as they honk their way across the sky in “V” formation confirms the shift in seasons.

Appearance

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

Breeding

  • Among the first to arrive north in spring, they are among the last to leave as winter returns.
  • They mate for life and both parents raise the young.

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

Range: Coast to coast in Canada and into the far north.

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.

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