Canada Goose
Branta canadensis
Family Anatidae
Subfamily Anserinae

The most widespread goose in North America, the Canada goose is a familiar sight in parks, backyards, and nearly anywhere else it can find water and forage.

Identifying Traits (both sexes):

  • Black, flattened bill
  • Body brown with faint white striping above
  • Underside paler; dusky brown on breast and white beneath tail
  • Short, squarish black tail
  • Neck and head entirely black, except for white “chinstrap” patches on face
  • Flocks fly in V-shaped formation, calling loudly
  • Size: 108 cm (43”)
  • Weight: 7 kg (15 lbs.)

Voice: The call of the Canada goose is a loud honk, sometimes extended into two notes: ka-honk! or ka-ronk!

Habitat: Canada geese will live anywhere there is water.  They frequent lakes, bays, ponds, and rivers, as well as grazing in backyards and athletic fields.

Range: The Canada goose breeds in Canada and the northern U.S., with its range extending south along the Atlantic seaboard.  Canada geese migrate to Mexico in the winter.

Interesting Facts: While nesting and raising their young, Canada geese can be extremely aggressive.  They will often hiss threateningly at humans who approach too close, and if molested the birds will bite.

     
Adults  
     
Adult with chicks    
     
 

 

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