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Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Canada goose


  • Body length ranges from 55 to 122 centimetres (2 to 4 feet).
  • Wingspan can measure up to 178 centimetres (about 6 feet).


  • White cheek patches on a black head and neck identify these geese at rest or in flight.
  • The back and wings are grayish brown, the breast and sides light grayish brown, with abdomen and upper and lower tail coverts white.
  • The beak and legs are black.


  • Call is a loud and familiar ah-honk.
  • These geese are widely distributed, ranging from the northern United States to the Arctic. Occasionally, they winter in southern Alberta.
Natural History


  • Canada geese nest on the ground, preferably on islands in the many rivers and lakes and occasionally in nesting boxes.


  • Their food consists of eel grass, grass shoots and grain.
  • They make regular morning and evening flights from the lakes to grain fields and feed in the same spot for several days if not disturbed.
Reproduction and Growth

Breeding Behaviour

  • The nest consists of reeds and grass, lined with down.
  • Four to seven eggs of a creamy-white color are laid.
Conservation and Management


Canada geese are classified as Secure in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:

Current management


Hunting season information for this species is provided in the current Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations. To view the guide online or to order a printed copy, visit the My Wild Alberta website at:


Page Information

Updated: Jan 8, 2014