|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The most familiar and widespread goose in North America, the Canada Goose can be found in all kinds of water all across the continent, from the tundra to the Gulf Coast. Some populations have become resident in urban areas, and are now coming into conflict with people.|
At least 11 subspecies of Canada Goose have been recognized, although only a couple are distinctive. In general, the geese get smaller as you move northward, and darker as you go westward. The four smallest forms are now considered a different species: the Cackling Goose.
Some migratory populations of the Canada Goose are not going as far south in the winter as they used to. This northward range shift has been attributed to changes in farm practices that makes waste grain more available in fall and winter, as well as changes in hunting pressure and changes in weather.
Individual Canada Geese from most populations make annual northward migrations after breeding. Nonbreeding geese, or those that lost nests early in the breeding season, may move anywhere from several kilometers to more than 1500 km northward. There they take advantage of vegetation in an earlier state of growth to fuel their molt. Even members of "resident" populations, which do not migrate southward in winter, will move north in late summer to molt.
The giant Canada goose subspecies, B. canadensis maxima, formerly bred from central Manitoba to Kentucky. It was nearly driven extinct in the early 1900s. Programs to reestablish the subspecies to it original range were tremendously successful, and in fact, in some places were too successful. The numerous introductions and translocations created a number of resident populations, and the geese have become a nuisance in many urban and suburban areas.
topSize: 76-110 cm (30-43 in)
Wingspan: 127-170 cm (50-67 in)
Weight: 3000-9000 g (105.9-317.7 ounces)
Long, black neck.
Light tan to cream breast feathers.
White cheek patches may or may not be separated by black stripe on chin.
Black neck sometimes separated from brown chest by white collar.
Sexes look alike.
Juvenile similar to adult.
Cackling Goose nearly identical, but smaller (some as small as ducks), and with small, triangular bill.
The blue form of the Snow Goose has an all-white head.
Brant has a dark chest and white limited to the neck, not the cheek.
The rare Barnacle Goose has an entirely white face, a black breast, and a gray and black barred back.
Canada Goose X domestic goose hybrids have a wide variety of different markings, including extended white on head, red on bill, and red legs.
Call a loud "honk."
Breeds from central and southeastern Alaska eastward across Canada to western Greenland, and southward to the central United States. Introduced to Europe and New Zealand.
Winters from southern Canada to northern Mexico and northern Florida.
Breeds in a broad range of habitats from low Arctic tundra to prairies and parklands, including lakes, meadows, golf courses, and city parks.
Entirely herbivorous. Eats variety of plant species and parts, especially grasses, sedges, grain, and berries.
Grazes on grass, tips up to reach aquatic vegetation. Feeds in flocks in fields
Nest a large open cup, made of dry grasses, lichens, and mosses, lined with down and some body feathers. Usually placed on slightly elevated sites near water, such as pond edge or muskrat mound.
Incubation period 25-28 days.
Condition at Hatching
Covered with down and eyes open. Leaves nest within 24 hours of hatching with the ability to swim and feed.
Chicks fledge in 6-7 weeks.
Populations generally increasing over last half-century. Resident and urban populations are becoming a nuisance in some areas.
Bernache du Canada (French)
Ganso canadiense (Spanish)
Source : http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Canada_Goose_dtl.html
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