Canada Goose

Branta canadensis




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White, nest stained.

Number of Eggs:

4 - 7

Incubation Days:

25 - 30

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Sticks, grass, weeds, and moss.





Canada Goose: Large long-necked goose with dark upperparts and paler underparts fading to white on vent. Head and neck are black with white chin bar. Body is usually gray-brown, although varies from dark brown to gray in different races. White semi-circle above black tail is visible in flight. Sexes are similar, but the male is usually larger. Juvenile is duller and is most noticeable from the head pattern, white of cheeks slightly brown and less separated from black on the head; flanks and breast are mottled instead of barred.

Range and Habitat

Canada Goose: Breeds from Alaska east to Baffin Island and south to California, Oklahoma, and Georgia. Spends winters south to northern Mexico and the Gulf coast; it is also a widespread resident in city parks and on reservoirs. Preferred habitats include lakes, bays, rivers, marshes, and stubble fields.

Breeding and Nesting

Canada Goose: These geese mate for life, though they will find a new mate if their current mate dies. Four to seven white eggs are laid in a large nest made of grass and moss, lined with down and built on the ground near water or on a muskrat lodge. They sometimes use an abandoned Osprey or Bald Eagle nest in a tree instead. Incubation ranges from 25 to 30 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Canada Goose: These geese eat a variety of grasses when foraging terrestrially; they also feed on crops such as wheat, beans, rice and corn. During spring, these geese shift from diets dominated by high-energy grains to diets containing more green vegetation. They feed in family groups when brooding and are highly gregarious during migration and winter, often gathering and feeding in large flocks.


Canada Goose: Larger races have a rich, musical honking; smaller races have a high-pitched cackling.

Similar Species

Canada Goose: Cackling Goose is smaller with a shorter neck and bill.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area of the face just below the bill.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X