Canada geese FAQ’s
What is the scientific name of the Canada Goose?
The Canada Goose has the scientific name Branta canadensis. Scientifically, they belong to the Order Anseriformes, Family Anatidae, and Genus Branta.
What do Canada Geese look like?
Canada Geese are easily recognized by their long black neck and white cheeks. Like other geese, Canada geese have blunted, triangular bills and dark eyes. Canada geese have brown bodies with white stripes.
How big are Canada Geese?
Geese in generally are intermediate in size between larger swans and smaller duck species. Typically, the male Canada Goose is 35-40 inches long, with the female several inches smaller. Canada Geese have a 50 to 75-inch wingspan.
Where do Canada Geese live?
Flocks live in ponds, rivers, and bays in the summer in Canada and winters across the American Southwest and Southeast. Though at first it was pleasant to see flocks of Canada Geese living in metropolitan parks and sanctuaries around lakes and rivers, lately such flocks have become a nuisance. Because of hand-feeding, Canada Geese have become accomplished beggars and their droppings are unsightly health hazards, so much so that many now consider them to be pests.
Alarmingly, Canada Geese are second only to turkey vultures in causing strikes on aircraft. Since 1999, the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services have engaged in lethal culls of non-migratory Canada Geese in metropolitan areas to control the nuisance problem of the big birds.
Were Canada Geese ever an endangered species?
In the 1950s, it was actually thought that, due to over hunting, the species was extinct. Then, a naturalist discovered a flock in Minnesota and an aggressive breeding program was begun. By the 1980s, 6,000 breeding pairs were released in North Dakota and the Canada Geese have made a great comeback. By the year 2000, the North American population of Canada Geese was estimated to be between 4 million and 5 million birds.
What are some of their distinguishing habits?
The most striking habit of the Canada Geese is their V-formation flight. Additionally, they fly with their long, black necks outstretched. Canada Geese are very vocal, emitting loud, two-syllable honks varied with high-pitched yelping, depending on gender and subspecies. Males and females are monogamous and mate for life. Canada Geese are very protective parents and hiss, then attack with bites and wing-slaps if the intruder persists.
What do Canada Geese eat?
Canada Geese eat mostly grain, grass and aquatic vegetation. On occasion, they have been known to eat small fish and insects.
How long do Canada Geese live?
Canada Geese live up to 24 years in the wild. One individual goose, tagged as a nestling, was seen alive at age 31.
Do Canada Geese have any natural predators?
Large predators such as coyotes and foxes have been known to eat goslings and eggs. Less commonly, raccoons and American black bears have been Canada Goose predators. In the world of birds, snowy owls, bald eagles, and golden eagles have been seen attacking Canada Geese.
How many eggs do they lay?
Female Canada Geese lay between five to seven white three-inch long eggs yearly.
To help control the Canada Geese population in cities, it is important to remember to resist feeding the wild geese. If humans were to do this alone, the flocking in the cities would be greatly reduced. Canada Geese are naturally migratory birds; they are not year-round species, unless human feeding cause them to be so.