Canada Goose - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Canada Goose - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Canada Goose - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Canada Goose - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Canada Goose
Branta canadensis

Geese and Swans
Waterfowl Family (Anatidae)

Size: Length: 41-64 cm Wingspan: 125-175 cm

Description: Familiar to almost everyone, the Canada goose has a black head, beak and neck. A prominent white patch covers the cheek and chin. The upper surface is brown, with prominent light edges to some of the feathers. The breast is lighter and the belly white. The tail is black and the feet dark gray.

Similar Species: 

Range: Across most of Canada and rapidly expanding into new areas where it is often considered a pest. It can be found nesting throughout the Canadian and American Rockies.

Habitat: These are adaptable birds, and can be found in a wide variety of habitats. They are usually spotted near rivers, streams, lakes or marshes. They are also fond of golf courses and other areas with plentiful grasses on which to feed.

Diet: Unlike most waterfowl, geese do much of their feeding on land, grazing grasses along parks and golf courses. In ponds, they dabble for aquatic plants, roots and tubers.

Nesting: They generally nest on the ground but may take advantage of elevated nesting platforms, old hawk nests or cliff edges. Generally though, the nest will be near water. The nest will be a depression of varying size, built up with sticks, plants and other material to make a rough nest. It may be lined with grasses and down. The eggs are white, becoming nest stained. Typical broods vary from 4-6 eggs and incubation is by both parents. The bright yellow goslings hatch after 25-30 days and the precocial young leave the nest within a few hours. They begin to exhibit the classic markings of the Canada goose within a few weeks of hatching.

Notes: The honking call of the Canada goose defines the spring and fall migrations in many areas of North America. Most mountain dwellers recognize the onset of this seasonal journey through the appearance of the first v-shaped flocks of honking geese.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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