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CANADA GEESE DAMAGE MANAGEMENT

BIOLOGY

Life History

 

Reproduction

Images in this reproduciton section chosen by Public safety group

Female Canada goose laying on eggs. Photo by Amber Fandrich Canada goose nest of seven eggs. Photo by Amber Fandrich
Female Canada goose laying on eggs. Photo: Amber Fandrich Canada goose nest of 7 eggs. Photo Amber Fandrich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada goose with goslings. Photo: Stephen M. Vantassel Canada goose with goslings. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel
Canada goose with goslings. Photo: Stephen M. Vantassel Canada goose with goslings. Photo: Stephen M. Vantassel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diet

Canada goose (Branta canadensis) by Stephen VantasselFig. 1. Canada goose (Branta canadensis) Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel
 
Geese typically feed twice a day: once in the morning and later in the afternoon. They then return to their roost site in the evening which is usually on open water such as lakes, ponds, and even flooded areas in fields.

Canada geese feed on a variety of wild and cultivated plants, but like to feed on corn. Geese prefer harvested corn fields where they can see danger approaching, as well as land and take off effectively. Corn is most vulnerable when a field has been “opened” or harvest has begun. Corn fields are at high risk if they are left un-harvested over winter and the grain is still there when geese migrate back in spring. Canada geese can easily remove kernels from a cob with their bill (Craven and Heinrich 1996). Corn remaining from the previous fall may also be important to the success of their nesting (Craven and Heinrich 1996).

Canada geese feed secondarily on winter wheat and alfalfa which are very nutritious (Craven and Heinrich 1996). Both crops are subject to heavy grazing by Canada geese. The energy provided by the first green growth is important to the success of the bird’s spring nesting success.

Range

 

Flyways

National flyways Flyways used by Canada geese include: the Mississippi Flyway (along the Mississippi River), the Central Flyway (Great Plains region from the Rocky Mountains to the Missouri River and beyond), the Atlantic Flyway (along the eastern coast of North America), and the Pacific Flyway (along the western edge of the Rockies to the western coast of North America).

Canada goose track. Photo by Stephen M. Vantassel

Recommended Citation

Canada Goose Management Website. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NRES 348 Wildlife Damage Management class, Spring Semester, 2010. Scott Hygnstrom, Instructor; Stephen Vantassel, Webmaster. http://icwdm.org/handbook/Birds/CanadadGeese/Default.aspx

Picture (left) is a Canada goose track. Photo: Stephen M. Vantassel

   
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