With the right wind conditions, a flock of Canada geese can fly 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) in 24 hours.
With the right wind conditions, a flock of Canada geese can fly 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) in 24 hours.
Photograph by Derek Gordon, Dreamstime

Canada Goose

Canada geese usually graze together in fields, eating grasses, sedges, grains, and berries. Their bills have serrated edges, which helps them cut tough grass stems.

Common Name:
Canada Goose
Scientific Name:
Branta canadensis
Type:
Birds
Diet:
Herbivore
Group Name:
Flock
Average Life Span In The Wild:
24 years
Size:
Body: 30 to 43 inches; wingspan: 4.2 to 5.6 feet
Weight:
6.6 to 19.8 pounds

In addition to grasses, sedges, grains, and berries, Canada geese also feast on aquatic vegetation. When eating in water, they "tip up," reaching underwater and tearing water plants with their heads beneath the surface and their rear ends sticking up in the air.

Male geese fight one another to win a particular female. The winning male gets the female as a mate, and the pair may stay together for life.

The female of the pair picks a good spot to make her nest. She finds a place—always near water—which is isolated and a little higher than anything right around it. The female makes her nest of dry grasses, twigs, and other plant material. She uses her body to shape the nest into a bowl.

The baby geese, called goslings, take about a month to hatch. Babies are covered with soft feathers called down. They hatch with their eyes open and will leave the nest within 24 hours, following their parents. Goslings can swim right away. In less than two months, the goslings grow adult feathers and learn to fly.