Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis)

About the Bird

Seen/Heard at
Decorah, Decorah North. Great Spirit Bluff

Diet
Canada Geese are herbivorous ground foragers. In spring and summer, they concentrate their feeding on grasses and sedges. During fall and winter, they rely on dried berries, seeds, and agricultural grains. Although they love blueberries, they are very adept at removing kernels from dry corn cobs – a useful skill near N2B!

Nesting
Canada Geese breed from early April through late June. A female goose uses grass, lichen, moss, and other plant materials to build a large open cup nest on the ground, which she lines with down and some body feathers. She lays two to eight creamy-white eggs, which she incubates for 25-28 days. While young leave the nest quickly, they are dependent on both parents for 42-50 days after hatching. The Canada Goose produces one brood per year. Unlike most of the birds we watch, they are precocial. You can read more about precocial versus altricial here: http://bit.ly/2qzHZgC. To learn more, visit Cornell’s website.

The Giant Canada Goose was believed extinct until a small population was discovered at Silver Lake in Rochester, MN. You can read more about that here: https://www.fws.gov/news/Historic/NewsReleases/1963/19630401.pdf.

Citations
Bird Range Maps of North America
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003.
Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA. Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy – Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International – CABS, World Wildlife Fund – US, and Environment Canada – WILDSPACE.
Web Link: http://bit.ly/2ynPQ5I
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of North America: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/cangoo/introduction

General Description
Canada Geese have a black head with white cheeks and a chinstrap, a black neck, a tan breast, and a brown back. Their bills and webbed feet are black.

Migration
Canada Geese can be found in the Decorah area year-round, although some wintering geese could be migrants from colder northern areas.

Measurements
Length
29.9-43.3 in/76-110 cm
Wingspan
50.0-66.9 in/127-170 cm
Weight
105.8-317.5 oz/3000-9000 g
Wing Design
Medium-long and relatively narrow – closest to a high-speed wing.

Video: Canada Goose visits North Nest

Range Map

Range Map