Length: 30-43 in Weight: 6-20 lbs
All black head and neck with a thick white chin strap. Brown body and wings with a white rump and black tail.
Present year-round throughout most of the United States, including human-modified habitats. In summer moves into Canada and Alaska.
There are at least 11 sub species of Canada Geese, with plenty of variety in size and coloration across their range. In general, birds tend to get smaller the farther north they live, and lighter the farther west they live.
Depending on where they live, Canada Geese may stay in one place year round, or migrate up to a thousand miles between winter and summer grounds. These geese are also wintering farther north than they used to, probably due to abundant food provided by harvested agricultural fields.
Fresh off the (scientific) press:
According to a 2016 review by Ottenburghs et al., Canada Geese are one of only three goose species that have been documented to commit intraspecific nest parasitism (the others being Graylag Geese and Snow Geese). This means that Canada Geese occasionally lay their eggs in the nests of other species, and could also explain why hybrids between Canada and Graylag Geese are relatively more common in nature than other goose hybrids.
Make your own bird cookies!
Ottenburghs, J, P van Hooft, S E van Wieren, R C Ydenberg, H H T Prins. 2016. Hybridization in geese: a review. Frontiers in Zoology 13: 20.