There’s something special about watching geese fly overhead. Their pattern in the sky always seems so precise and orderly, as if they’re following a specific plan. It’s no wonder that these waterfowl have been featured in folklore and mythology all around the world!
In this guide, we will take a closer look at these fascinating creatures in Florida and learn more about their behavior and ecology.
What type of geese are in Florida?
There are three types of geese in Florida, the Canada Goose, the Snow Goose and the Egyptian goose. The Canada Goose is the most common, and you can find them in nearly every park or body of water across the state.
The Snow Goose is less common, but can be found in some of the northern parts of Florida. The Egyptian goose is the rarest of the three, and can only be found in a few locations in southern Florida. There are more geese species in Georgia and even more geese types in Alabama.
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
The Egyptian goose, also known as the African or Spotted Goose, is a large bird species that is native to Africa and Asia.
- Scientific Name: Alopochen aegyptiaca
- Height: 24.8 to 28.7 cm.
- Wingspan: Average 38 cm.
- Weight: 1.5 to 2.3 kg.
Egyptian Goose Description
The Egyptian goose has a distinct appearance that sets it apart from other geese. Its plumage is black, with white spots on its head and neck, while the rest of its body is a mottled brown color. There are two types of Egyptian geese: one type has white plumage with black spots on its head and neck, while the other type has all-black plumage.
Egyptian Goose Sound
Listen to Egyptian Goose
Egyptian Goose Habitat & Range
Egyptian geese are found in open grasslands and marshes near lakes or rivers, where they feed on vegetation such as aquatic plants and grasses. They typically forage for food during the day but are known to feed at night as well when it is too hot during the day to fly long distances over dry land without water available nearby.
Egyptian geese are found throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, as well as southeastern Asia (in Malaysia and Indonesia).
Egyptian Goose Diet
The Egyptian goose is omnivorous, meaning it eats both meat and plant matter. Its diet consists of insects, small fish, seeds, roots, berries and grains.
Egyptian Goose Nesting
This bird’s average lifespan can range from 15-20 years depending on how well they are cared for in captivity. The bird is native to Africa and to the Nile Delta region, but it can be found in many other places across the globe.
Because of their beautiful plumage, they were hunted by humans for many years until they were protected by law in the 1800s. But their population has been decreasing since the 1960s because of habitat loss. They are now one of the most common waterfowl found throughout the world today.
Egyptian geese are new residents in Florida and have caused some issues as they have taking over parks, golf courses and even a parking lot in Southern and central Florida! Whilst they are not native, the Florida fish and wildlife conservation commission reported that they are now considered resident geese. They mainly eat aquatic plants and plant material.
The Florida Parks and Recreation department do use scare tactics to remove Geese from parks including noise and chemical repellants as they can be a considerable nuisance in the nine counties they are in (including Miami dade).
Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)
The Snow Goose is one of the most abundant geese in North America, and has been hunted heavily for its meat by humans for centuries; its population has declined significantly since the 1960s due to hunting pressure and habitat loss caused by human activity. These birds are also known to migrate long distances, often flying over 2000 miles in a single journey! They are very social animals, and can be found in flocks of thousands during migration season.
- Scientific Name: Anser caerulescens
- Height: 64 to 79 cm (25 to 31 in.)
- Wingspan: 135 to 165 cm (53 to 65 in)
- Weight: 2.05 to 2.7 kg (4.5 to 6.0 lb)
Snow Goose Description
The snow goose is a large waterfowl that has white plumage with black wingtips and is a species of goose native to North America, the tundra, and grasslands. It has a black neck, white cheeks, and a pale gray belly. It also has a black bill with a yellow tip. Its feet are orange to dull greenish yellow. They are large birds, averaging between 3.2-4.9 kg and often exhibit black bars on their wings and a white patch on the rump.
Snow Goose Sound
Snow Goose Habitat & Range
These birds are capable of flying for long distances without getting rest. It is one of the few species that can fly non-stop for 3,000 miles without stopping for rest or food.
They are mostly found in the Arctic areas, including North America, Greenland and Canada, where their numbers have increased in recent years due to conservation efforts to protect them from extinction.
They migrate south during the winter months when food supplies are scarce.
Snow Goose Diet
They have been known to eat a variety of foods including seeds, roots and tubers as well as insects, snails and small fish. The Snow Goose is one of the few species of geese that have been observed using tools to help them catch prey. They have been seen using sticks or stones as weapons or shields when hunting for food!
They can also dive underwater to get food which means they don’t need to eat on land all the time like other birds do (they can just swim around until they find something they like).
Snow Goose Nesting
Snow geese are known to mate for life. A male will typically find two or three females depending on his age and experience level as a hunter-gatherer type personality. A female may lay up to 14 eggs at once but usually only 1 or 2 survive because of predators such as other birds like raptors and even humans who hunt them down during hunting season!
Like other bird species, snow geese over winter in Florida.
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
The Canada goose is the most common goose species in North America. These birds are easily recognizable thanks to their black heads and necks, white chins, and brown bodies.
- Scientific Name: Branta canadensis
- Height: 75 to 110 cm (30 to 43 in)
- Wingspan: 127–185 cm (50–73 in)
- Weight: Usual: 2.6–6.5 kg (5.7–14.3 lb); Average: 3.9 kg (8.6 lb)
Canada Goose Description
Canada goose is a large water bird that has a black head and neck, white cheeks, and a brownish-gray body. They have webbed feet and can be seen on lakes, ponds, and rivers throughout the United States in summer.
Canada Goose Sound
Canada Goose Habitat & Range
Their habitat includes grasslands, marshes, open woodland areas, and agricultural fields including cornfields where they eat the seeds on the ground.
They are often found near lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, and open fields where they feed on grasses, aquatic plants, small animals, insects, and grain crops.
Canada Goose Diet
Canada geese are popular game birds; they are also used for their feathers and leather. Their diet consists mainly of plant material including grasses and grains, but occasionally insect larvae and worms.
Canada Goose Nesting
Canada geese typically mate for life and often return to the same nesting site year after year. These birds build their nests on the ground, near water sources such as lakes or ponds.
During the nesting season, female Canada geese will lay between three and eight eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the goslings will stay with their parents until they are ready to migrate in the autumn.
Canada Geese remain the most popular in Florida and are resident year round. Large flocks of canadian geese mate in Florida, and the pairs remain together for life.
Many people have a natural fear of geese, especially the giant Canadian geese, which are large, but remember as long as you don’t get too close to their nest, they will avoid you.
Can you hunt geese in florida?
Geese are federally protected however during hunting season as long as you have a huntice licence, a Florida waterfowl permit, a migratory bird permid and a federal duck stamp you can hunt geese in Florida.
If you hunt on a wildlife management area you will also need a permit and know the season (not the mating season) and bag limits.
Hunters will need a hunting license, a Florida waterfowl permit, no-cost migratory bird permit and a federal duck stamp to hunt waterfowl. If you are hunting on a wildlife management area, you will also need a management area permit.
Jim Addison is an avid bird watcher and has been obsessed with the activity since he was a young boy.
He has traveled all over North America in search of new and interesting species to observe, and his detailed knowledge of the subject makes him a sought-after expert on the topic.