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Canada Goose

Latin Name: Branta Canadensis

Native to North Americas. Introduced to the UK in 1665, as an addition to the waterfowl collection of King Charles II at St James' Park. It is now considered a resident in the UK. It forms noisy flocks and is often considered a nuisance when in large numbers on grassland or in parks. There are 7 recognised sub species of varying sizes and plumage details.



Grey-brown with a pale breast and a black neck. The head is black with a white under-band under the chin. The female looks the same but is usually smaller than the male. They are vocal and emit a variety of deep, nasal, honking calls.





Animal Facts

In Britain: Residents all year round

Life Span: in the wild 15-20 years can live up to 30 years in captivity.

Statistics: 100cm long, Wingspan 180cm, male weights 3-7kg, female 2-6kg.

Habitat: Large inland bodies of water such as lakes, gravel pits, reservoirs as well as on seashores and rivers. Will also be found feeding on grassland.

Food: Seeds, grasses and aquatic plants.

Breeding: They pair up for life and have strong family bonds. Female lays around 5 eggs in a shallow scrape in the ground lined with feathers and soft vegetation. Incubates for 30 days and during this period the male stays close by. Fledge 40-48 days.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Distribution: All of the UK. Around 82,000 adults.

Behaviour: They are grazers on pastures and arable land but also feed in shallow water. They are most likely to return to the areas they were born. They fly in a v-shaped or diagonal line formation. Adults moult their flight feathers and become flightless for about 3-4 weeks in the summer. The male can be aggressive when defending its territory.

Conservation Status: Worldwide population is large and is not considered to be at risk.



See Also

Winter Migrants

Abberton Reservoir, Essex  

Holkham National Nature Reserve, Norfolk



By: Tracey Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: canada_goose Topic: Birds  Last Updated: 03/2010

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