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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis ORDER: ANSERIFORMES FAMILY: ANATIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Canada Goose Photo

A familiar and widespread goose with a black head and neck, white chinstrap, light tan to cream breast and brown back. Has increased in urban and suburban areas in recent years; just a decade or two after people intentionally introduced or reintroduced “giant” Canada Geese to various areas, they are often considered pests.

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Calls

  • Honks, Flock and Honks, Flight Calls
      No sound? Click here
  • Calls (captive bird)
      No sound? Click here
  • Air-through-wings sound and calls (captive bird)
      No sound? Click here
  • Flight calls
      No sound? Click here
  • Gosling calls (captive birds)
      No sound? Click here
  • Pair members calling
      No sound? Click here
  • Flight calls
      No sound? Click here
  • Courtesy of Macaulay Library
    © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Various loud honks, barks, and cackles. Also some hisses.

Other

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Backyard Tips

Mowing and maintaining lawns down to the water’s edge, or maintaining very large lawns anywhere near water are open invitations to Canada Geese. Plastic mesh placed over grass usually discourages them from walking on a lawn.

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

Find This Bird

During summer, and increasingly at other times of year, Canada Geese are fairly easy to see, swimming in open water, resting near shore, or grazing on lawns or farm fields. They are often heard flying above, by day or night; if you study their honks you may notice the difference by sound when other species of geese or swans are flying.

Get Involved

Look for Canada Goose nests and contribute valuable data about them through NestWatch

Report your Canada Goose sightings to eBird

You Might Also Like

All About Birds Blog, Where Did All Those Canada Geese in Town Come From?, September 2013.

Ducks Unlimited Canada: Facts on Canada Geese

Unsafe Haven: Teshekpuk Lake, Alaska. Story and photos in Living Bird magazine.

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