Our Beautiful World

Canada Goose, Branta canadensis  

En. Canada Goose, Da. Kanadagås, Du. Canadese Gans, Fi. Kanadanhanhi, Fr. Bernache du Canada, Ge. Kanadagans, It. Oca del Canada,
No. Kanadagås, Sp. Barnacla canadiense, SE. Kanadagås

First of all, a little bit of Canada-geese near our new home:

On May 22nd, 2006, one of these finally landed outside our new home.
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), but there were many more to come.

As time went by, and we learned where to look, we could count up to a 150 birds in the field outside our home.

Februar 25th, 2008, when down by the seaside (inland), we observed these 14 heading toward our position.

More Canada geese on their way. Winter this year has been so mild, that several birds have been over-wintering
in the waters around in this part of the country.

All pictures above, © www.vulkaner.no

Photo © Jørgen Scheel
As the name suggests, Canada Geese come from North America where they breed in Canada and northern USA and
winter in southern USA. There are eleven subspecies.

The Canada Goose was introduced to Britain about 250 years ago and the feral population now exceeds 50,000. They are now found in smaller numbers elsewhere in Europe and are still being introduced into Scandinavia by hunters.

Photo: © Victor Loewen, animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu

The subspecies normally found in Europe is the nominate B. c. canadensis although there is some hint of B. c. maxima
in some birds. B. c. maxima is the largest subspecies with a slightly darker lower neck and a small white patch on the forehead. Other subspecies occasionally come to Europe as vagrants.
Although they are normally migratory, feral populations tend to be sedentary.

Photo: © Dennis Olsen
Canada geese are monogamous. Pairs form during the winter, during migration or on their wintering grounds, for the next
breeding season. Mated pairs may stay together for more than one year, sometimes staying together for life.

Males fight over females with their wings and bills. The winner approaches the female with his head down and neck undulating.
He makes hissing and honking noises. The pairs mate either before or after they have found a nesting location.
Mating, occurs in the spring on the water. The female is usually partially submerged or completed submerged while
copulation takes place.monogamous .

The average clutch size is five eggs, although this size ranges from 2 to 9 eggs. The incubation period lasts 23 to 30 days.
Females incubate the eggs, choose the location for nesting, and even build the nest without males.
Males defend the territory, nest, and eggs from intruders, such as other geese. Female Canada geese pick nesting sites
that are isolated but have good visibility. This allows them to readily see danger approaching and to be difficult to get at.
The nesting area also must have open water with low banks so they can have access to water plants and places to get into
or out of the water.
Text here from Aurther Grosset and Animaldiversity

ARKive video - Canada goose - overview
Canada goose - overview
David Element

Photo: © Arthur Grosset


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