Scientific name: Branta canadensis
Status: Resident introduced population
Breeding birds: 62,000 pairs
Wintering birds: 190,000 birds
Conservation status: N/A
Length: 75 – 110 cm
Wingspan: 130 – 180 cm
Weight: 2.5 – 6.5 kg
Male and female Canada geese look similar with breast, belly and flanks ranging in light grey to dark chocolate brown. The back is darker brown and the tail is blackish-brown with a white band on the rump.
Both sexes have a black head and neck except for white cheek patches and throat patch. There are several subspecies of Canada goose which have variations in size and plumage.
Juvenile Canada geese are duller in colour while young goslings are an olive-brown colour with a darker crown.
Canada geese build their nests on the ground near water and may use unoccupied nests of other birds. The nest is bowl shaped and lined with grass, twigs, leaves and goose down.
They lay 4-6 creamy white eggs which are incubated for 25-30 days. Just a few hours after the eggs have hatched the goslings will leave nest and learn how to swim.
Canada geese will graze on land or will reach for submerged aquatic vegetation using their long necks.
They will eat pondweed, sedge, grass, seeds and grains and occasionally insects, snails and tadpoles.
Where to see them
Canada geese can be found all over the UK except for the very North of Scotland, around lakes, ponds and in parks.
Did you know?
Canada geese pick mates of a similar size, a pattern biologists call “assortative mating”.