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|Common name:||Canada Goose|
|Scientific name:||Branta canadensis|
|Other names:||Bay Goose, Wild Goose|
|Status on Vashon:||Common|
The Canada Goose is a large goose with a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brown body. The "chinstrap" distinguish the Canada Goose from all other goose species. There are seven subspecies of this bird, of varying sizes and plumage details, but all are recognizable as Canada Geese.
The male can be very aggressive in defending territory. The female looks virtually identical but is generally 10% smaller and has a different honk.
In recent years, Canada Goose populations in some areas have grown substantially, so much so that many consider them pests for their droppings, bacteria in their droppings, noise, and confrontational behavior. This problem is partially due to the removal of natural predators and an abundance of safe, man-made bodies of water near food sources, such as those found on golf courses, in public parks and beaches, and in planned communities.
During the second year of their lives, Canada Geese find a mate. They are monogamous, and most couples stay together all of their lives. If one dies, the other may find a new mate. The female lays from 2–9 eggs with an average of five and both parents protect the nest while the eggs incubate, but the female spends more time at the nest than the male. Its nest is usually located in an elevated area near water such as streams, lakes, ponds and sometimes on a beaver lodge.
Canada Geese fly in a distinctive V-shaped flight formation, with an altitude of 3,000 feet for migration flight. The maximum flight ceiling of Canada Geese is unknown, but they have been reported at 29,000 feet.
The life span in the wild of geese that survive to adulthood ranges 10–24 years.
|More details:||Encyclopedia of Life Wikipedia|
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