Thursday, August 4, 2011

Canadian Geese

Canada geese can be found from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Mexico to the Arctic Coast of CanadaA general trend in all subspecies is that they spend summers in the northern parts of North America, especially Canada and migrate south to areas of the United States in the winter months. Now, a tidbit of information straight from Springfield, Ill, USA - rcv'd an email from my friend stating that the Canadian Geese that usually arrive in the fall, just arrived ?? looking quite weary n skinny - he put out a 20 lb bag of food and it was gone quickly - this is just too wierd and SOMEHOW most people think there is nothing wrong on our planet ? DUH

The average life span of a Canada goose is 10-25 years. There are reports of geese living to be 30 plus years of age in the wild. One captive pair is known to have been together for 42 years but when the male was accidentally killed, the female died a few months later. Once the female has accepted the gander they begin to build a relationship which will last a lifetime. If another suitor approaches the female Canada Goose, more then likely both geese will drive the other male away.

During the fall migration, if a goose is shot down by a hunter the mate will circle back to help the partner. Risking death for themselves in order to find their mate. Once the wounded partner is found, the other goose will remain with them until they are healed. If the partner cannot find their mate they will continue searching. The goose will remain in the area even enduring the hardship of winter to continue the search.

Social Behaviour

·        Gregarious
·        Wary - Alert for danger. Often while the flock is feeding, individuals will take turns acting as sentinels (neck erect), warning others of impending danger
·        Tolerant - but can be aggressive toward other geese when pairing up with a
        mate and toward humans during nesting season.
·        Attentive – Strong family ties. Male and female raise offspring together.

Preparing the Nest
The down feathers are placed under, around and on top of the eggs. By placing the feathers this way, they are able to maintain a temperature of 100.4 degrees F to 101.3 degrees F. The feathers have the ability to lock in heat, which enables the parents to leave the nest for short periods of time. Newly hatched Canada Geese (Goslings) have a coat of yellow to olive down that darkens to dull grey over the first few weeks of life. As the birds grow, feathers gradually cover the down, and by the time the young geese are ready to fly in late summer, they are nearly indistinguishable from their parents.  


Family bonds are strong in Canada Geese—goslings stay with their parents for a full year, returning to the breeding grounds with them after their first winter. Migrating flocks in fall and spring thus consist of a number of families travelling together. While most Canada Geese are territorial during the nesting period, they congregate in flocks of several hundred to several thousand when they are migrating or are on the wintering areas. Families with goslings migrating south for the first time probably take longer than adults without goslings.