Also available in Notecard Assortment Pack #AST-503
Canada goose is the most widespread and best known goose in North
America. During the cold winter months they live in the southern
part of North America. Then every spring they return to breeding
and nesting grounds in the northern United States, Alaska and
not nesting, Canada geese live in large groups called gaggles
or skeins. During the breeding season each pair, which usually
mate for life, splits from the larger group. Nesting begins in
March or April, depending on latitude and weather. The female
chooses the site and builds a nest on the ground not very far
from water. After the female lays the eggs, she will pluck soft
down from her breast to insulate the eggs from heat and cold.
The male remains nearby to help defend the nest. Both parents
help raise each brood of five to nine goslings.
the summer, when the young geese are half grown, the adults go
through a molting period. They lose the main feathers on their
wings and tail and become grounded. While in a flightless condition,
they do not make much noise so that predators are less aware of
their presence. Within a month or so, new feathers will replace
the old and the geese will be ready for their journey south.
flying long distances, Canada geese fly in V formations.
The lead goose, and each bird behind it, breaks trail
through the air to create lift for the bird that follows.
When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into formation and
another goose flies to the point position.
diet consists of grasses, certain water plants, and insects in
spring and summer. During fall migration they seek out pastures
and fields of corn stubble not too far from water.
Text © 1996 Dianne Harrah, Drawing ©
1996 Bill Harrah