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, February 5, 2017

#GBBC: When Canada Geese arrive is spring around the corner?

I saw two V's of geese flying north. Is it going to be an early spring?
Shifting flocks of Canada Geese in a long, honking, irregular “V” across sky could be a sign of spring. Spring migration is difficult for observers to track because of over-wintering birds. The Canada Goose is a year round resident of mid-Michigan’s riverbanks, ponds, golf courses and farmlands. They eat aquatic vegetation, grasses and grains. If one area freezes or their source of food is depleted, they fly to more hospitable grounds. Migration is taught by the parents, so if the parents do not migrate, the offspring will also become non-migratory.

We might see some of the Canadian and Upper Peninsula geese passing up and down from their northern breeding territory and southern wintering range in late fall and early spring. The bulk of spring migratory movements tend to move north behind the retreating snow line, where the temperature is averaging 35 degrees.

Often called the Canadian Goose, the Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is one of the most recognizable birds in Michigan. At 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. At least 11 subspecies of Canada Goose have been recognized and as of 2004 some of the smaller subspecies were designated their own species like the Cackling Goose.

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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