Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Canada Goose

The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a member of the order Anseriformes and the Swans, Geese and Ducks family (Anatidae). It grows to 45 inches (114cm). The top of its body is brownish-gray. Its undersides and base of the neck are white. The long neck is black. The white cheek patch differentiates the Canada Goose from other geese. Canada geese can be found on or near fresh water throughout North America. The pair of geese shown on this page nested on French Hill Pond in the spring of 2010. The following photograph shows one of the pair protecting the nest and eggs. The female goose will normally lay four or more eggs in the nest lined with goose down. Some goose down can be seen on the edge of the nest and under the body of the goose in the photograph below.

 Goose Protecting Nest

When potential danger approaches, the nesting Canada Goose will lay down as close to the ground as possible as shown in the photograph above. As soon as danger passes, the goose will sit upright again as seen in the upper right of the photograph below that was taken a few minutes after the photograph above. The goose in the foreground swims between the potential danger and the nest. Click on the photograph below to see a twenty-second silent video of the goose family that hatched about two weeks after the photograph was taken. The size of this video file is 15.2 megabytes. Note how the goslings follow the goose in front while the goose in the rear ensures the goslings stay together. This event is apparently the first time Canada Geese are known to have bred on French Hill Pond.

Pair of Nesting Geese

The following photograph shows four of the five goslings that hatched. Note their coloring. They are yellow but the brown coloring is beginning to show on their backs and sides. The black on their heads has yet to appear.


The next photograph shows the goose family feeding on May 30, 2010. Note that one of the adults keeps watch while the others feed. Click on the photograph to see a brief video of the geese feeding. The size of this file is 6.2 megabytes.

Goose Family Feeding

Canada geese eat grains and plants. They travel in flocks and fly in V-shaped formations often honking as they go.


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