Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

Summary 4

The Canada Goose is the goose species most familiar to people living across much of North America, often occurring in large numbers in lakes and parks near cities and towns. This large goose may be anywhere from 30 to 43 inches long with a large body and short tail. Canada Geese may be identified by their brown backs, pale bellies, black necks, and large white “chinstrap. ” Male and female Canada Geese are similar to one another in all seasons.

The Canada Goose breeds widely across North America. Migratory breeding populations breed across Canada and winter in the northern half of the United States, while many populations living in human-altered environments are non-migratory. The Canada Goose has also been introduced in Britain, Ireland, and portions of western continental Europe. Wild-type Canada Geese breed in lakes and freshwater marshes, wintering in similar habitats. Non-migratory Canada Geese are habitat generalists, living in ponds and lakes as well as human-altered environments (including golf courses, city parks, and reservoirs). This species subsists primarily on plant matter, including aquatic vegetation and terrestrial grasses. Canada Geese are often present in large numbers where ducks and other waterfowl are fed by humans.

Canada Geese may be best observed foraging for food; both on land, where they may be seen walking on the shore or on grass further inland; or in the water, where they may be seen submerging their upper bodies to seek out aquatic vegetation. They may also be observed in the in large “V”-shaped flocks flying on migration or between bodies of water. This species is primarily active during the day.

Threat Status: Least concern

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Diane, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  2. (c) Nicole Beaulac, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  3. (c) Henry T. McLin, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  4. Adapted by carmacks_bioblitz from a work by (c) Unknown, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),

More Info

Range Map

iNatCA Map

Animal Bird
Color black, brown, white
Bird Anatidae (ducks geese & swans)