• Mating: Monogamous
• Peak breeding activity: begins the first weeks of March and continues as late as June in colder areas.
• Incubation period: 23-30 days
• Clutch Size: 2-9 eggs; 5 average
• Typical Foods: plant matter and aquatic invertebrates
The Canada goose is a large gray-bodied bird with a black head and long black necks. The best field mark is the large white cheek and throat patch. The sexes are alike. The size of this goose varies considerably - some are the size of a large duck and others are two to three times larger. At least 10 distinct subspecies exist.
Habitat and Habits
Thanks to wildlife management efforts by the Division of Wildlife of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Canada goose is now living in Ohio year-round. Several large lakes and marshy areas have permanent flocks of thousands of geese. Their diet consists of plant material. They migrate by day and night in noisy V-shaped formations. The song is a loud honk.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Canada geese have proven to be adaptable in their choice of nesting habitats. Typical nesting sites are on the ground adjacent to a pond or lake and on small islands in lakes and rivers. They maintain a small territory around these nests which is aggressively defended by the males. Most clutches are laid before April 15 and the majority of young geese hatch before May 10. The young geese attain flight after eight to nine weeks, and the family groups normally remain intact into autumn.