About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Learn more about Canada Geese

We had new visitors outside our Wild Birds Unlimited East Lansing, MI window today. Birder, our cat, was fascinated and a little cautious of the presence of a couple of giant geese. The Canada Goose is 16-25 inches long with a wingspan of 50-68 inches. Both the male and female are large long-necked geese with black bills, black heads and necks with white throat patches that extend up the cheek. The body is brown with a brownish-white breast and belly.

Ted Black, co-author of Birds of Michigan writes, "Canada Geese are among the most recognizable birds in Michigan, but they are also among the least valued. Few people realize that at one time birds of the now-common Midwestern subspecies of the Greater Canada Goose were hunted almost to extinction. Populations have since been reestablished and, in recent decades, these large, bold geese have inundated urban waterfronts, picnic sites, golf courses and city parks. Today many people even consider them pests."

That's one big bird! Should I hide?
Canada geese may be one of the most talkative animals after humans. Goslings, or baby geese, begin communicating with their parents while still in the egg. Their calls are limited to greeting "peeps," distress calls and high-pitched trills signaling contentment.
 

Usually in their second year of life, Canada Geese find a mate for life. Breeding takes place from late March to early May. Once the 2 to 9 eggs are laid, the female incubates them until they hatch around 28 days later. 

Minutes after hatching, young Canada geese are able to follow their parents around and leave the nest. Both parents raise the goslings and the family usually stays together for a full year after the birds have hatched.
 

Related Articles:
- Have you ever heard of a wedge of geese? http://goo.gl/2oDPB
- Goose Gaffe? http://goo.gl/sDx9H
- Strange deer and goose pairing http://goo.gl/im8Pj
- Why geese sleep in the water http://goo.gl/X9gV9
- Why do geese fly in a V formation? http://goo.gl/h1icv

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