Fun Canadian Goose Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Canadian Goose Facts For Kids

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The Canadian goose (Branta canadensis) is a wild species of goose. It is a North American bird that has white cheeks, and a black head and neck. While migrating, these flocks of birds fly in a v-formation. A 'wedge' or 'skein' is the term for this configuration in flight. The lead position in the 'wedge' is often interchanged because it is the most energy-intensive flight position. Canadian geese can live in a wide range of habitats, including urban areas. However, this group of birds is most commonly found in North America (Canada, the US, Mexico). Flocks of birds are found near lakes, ponds, parks, or found flying in a V-formation.

Canadian geese are herbivores, therefore, they like to eat aquatic plants, grass, and grains. Be it summer or winter, Canadian geese can be witnessed all year round. Migratory birds spend their winter in the southern wintering ground, and they spend spring in the northern breeding territory. They choose a location where they can have a relatively uninterrupted view in several directions for nesting. The female chooses the location and constructs the majority of the nest. The male goose guards the nest, and the female incubates the eggs. Year after year, some geese pairs return to the same nesting ground to lay eggs with their mate and raise their young in the same manner. A nest is shaped like a wide-open cup on the bottom, lined with feathers and made of dry grasses, lichens, mosses, and other plant materials.

If you like reading about birds and other wildlife, do check out swan goose facts and nene goose facts.

Fun Canadian Goose Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

6.6-24lb (3-10.9kg)

How long are they?

30-43.3in (76-110cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, White, Brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Marshes, Ponds, Lakes, Grass Plains, Coastline


North America









Canadian Goose Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Canadian goose?

A Canadian goose is a type of bird. It belongs to the family of Anatidae.

What class of animal does a Canadian goose belong to?

A Canadian goose belongs to the class Aves.

How many Canadian geese are there in the world?

The exact population of Canadian geese in the world is not known. However, their population is known to be increasing.

Where does a Canadian goose live?

Canadian geese are found in North America (Canada, the United States, and Mexico) as well as other parts of the world. While Canadian geese have a wide range, they prefer to spend the winter in the southern part of the continent. Canadian geese have been introduced to habitats all over the world, despite their North American origins. Some of these birds have started living in urban areas near ponds, lakes, and parks.

What is a Canadian goose's habitat?

Canadian geese enjoy grassy, open areas. Obstacles, such as tall grass and shrubs, are commonly avoided because they can conceal predators. Ponds, marshes, rivers, and coastlines are ideal habitats for this species. Canadian geese thrive in almost all habitats, from the ocean to the mountains. They have been often seen grazing on farmlands.

Who do Canadian geese live with?

The Canadian goose lives with groups of its own kind. These groups join together to form gangs.

How long does a Canadian goose live?

The estimated life expectancy of these North American birds is difficult to determine. The longest-living goose in captivity lived to be 80 years old. The oldest goose in the wild was said to be 30 years and four months old. The ability to have such a lifespan in the wild is remarkable, most wild geese only live for 12 years.

How do they reproduce?

Canadian geese select each other through assortative mating. Assortative mating is where a pair choose each other based on their size similarities. These monogamous Canadian geese sometimes stay in a pair for life. If one of the partners dies, the other finds a new mate. Canadian geese pairs often form crèches with other parents. They stay together for a long time, even until the next season of breeding.

Breeding happens once a year, usually starting in April and going on until May, although it may stretch into June in some colder habitats. Females are in charge of nest construction, and they seem to have a favorite mating spot. The female gathers grasses and twigs to form a nest and covers it with feathers after discovering a suitable position near water. While Canadian geese attain puberty at the age of two, they do not begin breeding until they are at least three years old. Canadian geese only have one brood per breeding season and nest again only if their first attempt fails. They will lay two to ten eggs at a time. Each egg is laid about a day and a half apart, with incubation starting after the last egg is laid. During incubation, females rotate the eggs on occasion. It takes 28 to 30 days for the eggs to hatch. To help them leave the shell, goslings have an 'egg tooth', a rough, sharp, tooth-like projection on their bill. The geese also form groups with other parents and their goslings after the eggs have hatched. Precocial (pre-born) goslings will leave the nest as soon as 24 hours after hatching.

The young goslings can walk, swim, and seek their own food as soon as they hatch. Parents are often seen leading their goslings in a line, with one adult in front and the other in the back. Parents often aggressively scare away nearby wildlife, ranging from tiny blackbirds to solitary humans, while defending their goslings. These geese first issue a warning hiss, then strike with bites and slaps of the wings to protect the young ones. From six to nine weeks of age, the offspring reach the fledgling stage. The young ones do not abandon their parents until they return to their birthplace after the spring migration. Parents instill migration in their young. If the parents do not migrate, the couple's descendants may become non-migratory. Birds that migrate spend the spring in their northern breeding grounds and the winter in their southern wintering grounds.

What is their conservation status?

According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN Red List), the conservation status of Canadian geese (Branta canadensis) is of Least Concern. The population trend for this species is also increasing.

Canadian Goose Fun Facts

What do Canadian geese look like?

Canadian Goose

Canadian geese are distinguished by their long black head and neck and a conspicuous white spot near their chin on their bill. On their dorsal area, they have different shades of brown-gray feathers, with a cream or white color on their rump and belly. These migratory birds have a moderate amount of sexual dimorphism, with males being marginally taller than females, but all weighing between 6.6-24lb. Canadian geese stand between 30-43.3in tall and have a wing size of 51-67in. Despite minor size variations, the sexes tend to be identical. Depending on the subspecies, goslings have gray-green feathers on the dorsal area of their body, and occasionally on their heads. They have black bills and feet from birth. To aid feeding, their bill has lamella (comb-like ridges) along the outer margin.

How cute are they?

Canadian geese are very cute to look at. Their sharp features, as well as social behavior, adds to their cuteness.

How do they communicate?

In the spring and fall, these migrating flocks can be easily identified by their erratic 'V' shape as they fly overhead. Since there is normally a constant chorus of honking, they can also be heard as well. The medium and wide ones have a deep ka-lunk, while the smaller ones have a high-pitched cackling accent. Canadian geese have about 13 common calls, ranging from noisy greetings and warning calls to low murmurs and the clucking of feeding geese.

When still in the shell, goslings begin to communicate with their parents. They just make greeting 'peeps', alarm calls, and high-pitched trills that indicate contentment. Adult calls elicit varying responses from goslings, showing that parents use a number of calls with different names to communicate with their young.

How big is a Canadian goose?

A Canadian goose is 30-43.3in (76-110cm) long, which is about six times the size of an average sparrow.

How fast can a Canadian goose fly?

The exact flight speed of the Canadian goose is not known. However, they are considered to have a good speed.

How much does a Canadian goose weigh?

Average Canadian geese weigh somewhere between 6.6-24lb (3-10.9kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male birds of the species are called ganders, and females are called geese.

What would you call a baby Canadian goose?

A baby or young Canadian goose is called a gosling.

What do they eat?

Geese feed mostly on grass and sedge in the spring and summer, including eelgrass and skunk cabbage leaves. During the winter and fall, they consume more seeds and berries, like agricultural crops, with blueberries being their favorite. They are great at getting kernels out of dried corn cobs. Plants that have a lot of secondary metabolites are avoided, which helps to reduce stomach problems and poisoning. A high-protein, high-energy diet is recommended for Canadian geese. These birds also eat plant material including aquatic plants all year round. They 'tip-up' while feeding in water, going underwater, and tearing water plants with their heads below the surface and their back ends stuck up in the air.

Are they dangerous?

Canadian geese are not dangerous and in fact, show social behavior. However, in case they feel threatened they defend themselves.

Would they make a good pet?

Canadian geese are loud birds that prefer a natural environment, and they do not make good pets. They are also protected by Federal laws from domestication, making it illegal to keep them as pets.

Did you know...

Male geese compete with one another for the attention of a particular female. The female becomes the mate of the winning male. These North American birds often mate for life.

Canadian geese may catch each other by the breast or throat and beat each other with their wings if an intruding goose does not retreat. Injuries are possible as a result of fighting.

Does Canada goose kill animals?

The Canada goose is herbivorous, however, they are very aggressive against predators. They can kill birds if they try to harm them, especially during the mating season.

How do you tell if a Canadian goose is male or female?

Males are slightly larger in size than females and they have a black head and neck.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including spruce grouse facts or Virginia rail facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Canada goose coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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