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Canada Goose & Barnacle Goose

© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

  • Family: Waterfowl – Anatidae
  • Appearance: A large, mainly brown goose with black and white markings on its head.
  • Size: Length 90–105 cm (35–41 in), wingspan 160–185 cm (62–72 in), weight 2–6.5 kg (4.5–14 lb) (incl. various races).
  • Nest: Low nest built of any available plant material lined with feathers.
  • Breeding: Usually 4–7 eggs, incubated for 24–30 days. Young able to fly within 40–86 days.
  • Distribution: Thrives in all kinds of waters. Originates from North America. Introduced into Finland in the 1960s. Currently numbers 9,000–10,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Can winter in Finnish waters, but commonly migrates to more southerly parts of the Baltic Sea and Sweden, with a few birds migrating as far as Denmark or Holland. Flies south in Sept–Nov, returning March–April.
  • Diet:Mainly plants. Often grazes on fields, meadows and lawns. Also feeds while swimming, dabbling on aquatic plants in shallow water.
  • Calls: Loud, disyllabic nasal honk, ending harshly.
  • Harmfulness: Potentially or locally harmful alien species.

Canada geese are large geese (largest of Finnish geese) with black colouring on their necks and heads, and a white patch on their throat and cheek. They resemble the smaller Barnacle goose, but can be distinguished by their brownish bodies (not grey), pale breasts and differently shaped white cheek markings. Young Canada geese resemble adults, except that the black colouring on their heads and necks is less glossy. Canada geese have black beaks, grayish brown legs and dark brown irises.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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