Pictures of Canadian Geese, which are properly known as Canada Geese.
The Canada Goose is found widespread throughout North America at some time of the year or another. They are found throughout Canada and very northern parts of the United States during the summer months and migrate to the very southern United States (with the odd exception of Florida) during the winter. They are permanent residents of most of the northern and mid United States.
Canadian Geese are very distinct and easy to recognize. They are roughly 2-4 feet in size and have an amazing 75 inch wingspan. The size of the Canada Goose ranges regionally. Adults have a black head and neck with a white patch that looks like a chin strap. This white area goes from ear to ear under the throat area. They have a short, black tail and black-gray-brown wings and upper parts. Their breasts are a paler gray brown color. They have white under tail feathers and a black bill. Both males and females have the same coloring and markings. Chicks, or goslings, are cute little fluffy yellow-brown things.
The Canada Goose mates for life. They have 1 brood a year of 4-7 white eggs. They build their nests out of sticks and grass in dry areas near water. Once born, babies are active and leave the nests after 1-2 days. They are able to feed themselves with their parents help. Despite the chicks ambling outside of the nest, families remain together through the winter until the following breeding season. Parents can often be found walking their babies in a line - one parent in the front of the line and one at the back. Too cute!
These birds graze on a variety of grasses and plants as well as some insects and the occasional fish. They are fairly comfortable around humans, and frequently in the same area as humans. They are fiercely protective of their young and and will hiss at predators before attacking or chasing them off. And for us humans, if Canadian Geese are around, so is their nasty green poop! Everywhere! I think it might be worse stepping in a bunch of their poop than getting pecked by them protecting a baby!
Canadian Geese are well-known for their V pattern flying formations during migration in the spring and fall. They make very loud honking sounds which can easily be heard from the ground. The V formation has been studied many times. Research has shown the formation is best for wind resistance. These birds take turns being the birds upfront, who are not receiving the benefits of the V formation. They instinctively know when to rotate. This allows the birds to travel farther and faster, reducing their fatigue while flying in this pattern. Often times these V formations will have one side of the V longer than the other.