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Branta canadensis


  • 20 to 50 inches long.
  • Wingspan can be 50-68 inches.
  • Black head and neck, white cheeks and throat.
  • Brown back, upper wing and flanks.
  • Brownish-white breast and belly.
  • Short black tail.
  • Black legs with black webbed feet.
  • Newly hatched look like ducklings with yellow and gray feathers and a dark bill for first 9-10 weeks.


  • Will breed fairly early in the year, with nesting usually happening around late Spring.
  • During the incubation period, adults lose their flight feathers, so they cannot fly until after their eggs hatch (25-28 days).
  • Females lay 4-8 eggs.
  • These geese are family-oriented and mate for life.
  • Their life span in the wild is 10-24 years.


  • Location - Low areas with lots of open water to provide them with safety. The Great Lakes has a particularly large population of Canada Geese. In urban areas they have become a common sighting in city parks.
  • Nesting - Typically on the ground on islands and shorelines. Generally a female will return to where her parents nested.
  • Feeding – Vegetation, grains, aquatic plants.
  • Migration – Migrate south when the ground begins to freeze in Fall. During Spring they migrate to their breeding grounds. Often seen flying in V-shaped formation whilst migrating.

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