Canada Goose

Silhouette GeeseGeese
Canada GooseBranta canadensis
  • ORDER: Anseriformes
  • FAMILY: Anatidae

Basic Description

The big, black-necked Canada Goose with its signature white chinstrap mark is a familiar and widespread bird of fields and parks. Thousands of “honkers” migrate north and south each year, filling the sky with long V-formations. But as lawns have proliferated, more and more of these grassland-adapted birds are staying put in urban and suburban areas year-round, where some people regard them as pests.

More ID Info
image of range map for Canada GooseRange map provided by Birds of the WorldExplore Maps

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.

Other Names

  • Barnacla Canadiense Grande (Spanish)
  • Bernache du Canada (French)

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 platform to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. You'll find plans for building a nest structure of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

  • Cool Facts