North American Geese: Guide to the Species of Goose in US




North American Geese

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There’s something special about watching a flock of geese fly overhead. These beautiful birds are a common sight in North America, and many people enjoy observing them during their migration seasons. If you’re interested in learning more about these fascinating creatures, keep reading!

In this guide, we will provide a guide to the geese species in America, including information on their physical characteristics (want to know the difference between a goose and a swan?), behavior (yes, Geese can Bite Humans), their diet (no don’t feed geese bread!) and more! However, some breeds of geese make great pets but geese are not great at keeping foxes away.

North America Geese Tick Sheet
Contents show

What Are North American Goose Species?

There are nine different goose breeds in North America:

Rarely spotted geese found in America include accidental sitings of Graylag Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Taiga Bean-Goose, Tundra Bean-Goose, Hawaiian Goose, Orinoco Goose and Egyptian Goose.

All of these birds share some common physical traits: they have long necks, webbed feet, and curved bills. They are also all excellent swimmers and flyers. However, there are some key differences between the species that you should be aware of.

Emperor Goose (Anser Canagicus)

Emperor Goose

The Emperor Goose, also known as the beach goose or the painted goose, is one of the rarest geese in North America, and one that every birdwatcher hopes to see. This small and stocky goose is only found in Alaska. They are large birds with a wingspan of up to 4 feet and feed on the small plants in the mud at the edges of lakes and rivers, as well as roots and seeds.

  • Scientific Name: Anser canagicus
  • Height: 26–28 inches (66–71 cm) and females 25.6–27.5 inches (65–70 cm)
  • Wingspan: 119 centimetres (47 in)
  • Weight: Males – 2.766 kilograms (6.10 lb) and 3.129 kilograms (6.90 lb) / Females: 1.945 kilograms (4.29 lb)

Emperor Goose Description

The plumage is overall silvery gray, with a black and white margins making it look scaled. With a white head (which can become rust colored in the summer months), it has a black throat and its bill is small and pinkk, and the legs are orange. The sexes are similar, but juveniles have a duller plumage being gray all over.

Listen to Emperor Goose


Emperor Goose Habitat & Range

They are migratory birds, which means they travel long distances to breed and then return to the same location in the winter. Emperor geese migrate from Alaska to Japan and the western Aleutian Islands in the Alaskan Peninsula.

In the winter, emperor geese live in Alaska and winter in Alaska, Japan and the western Aleutian Islands of the Alaskan Peninsula. In the summer, they stay in Alaska.

Emperor Goose Range Map credit:

Emperor Goose Diet

Emperor geese need large tracts of land with patchy vegetation, water, and ample food to survive. Emperor geese use their bills to catch fish (and occasionally small mammals) while swimming in the water or flying over it. They thrive in wetland habitats because they provide the birds with food and protection from predators such as bears and wolves.

Emperor Goose Nesting

The female emperor goose lays 3-8 eggs per season in a nest made from grasses and plant material. She does the majority of incubation of the eggs, which take about 30 days to hatch. The male takes on a more active role in rearing his offspring after they’ve hatched—he helps keep predators away, insulates them against heat loss, and protects them from harm by sheltering them under his wings or body when necessary.

Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens)

Snow Goose

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 Range Map credit:

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!

Ross’s Goose (Anser Rossii)

Ross’s Goose

Ross’s Goose is an excellent flier but is known for being rather clumsy on land due to its short legs and long body. The wings are broad and have white tips, which are visible when flying overhead or from afar as they flap their wings rapidly while flying low over water bodies such as lakes or rivers (where many other geese stop for food sources). They also make loud honking calls that sound like “honk-honk-honk” while flying overhead; this call seems fitting considering how clumsy they are on land!

  • Scientific Name: Anser rossii
  • Height: Male: 23.2-25.2 in (59–64 cm) / Female: 22.6-24.4 in (57.3–62 cm)
  • Wingspan: 44.5-45.7 in (113–116 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 42.3-55.3 oz (1198-1567 g) / Female: 37.6–51.3 oz (1066–1454 g)

Ross’s Goose Description

A mallard-sized white goose with black wingtips and tail, a relatively short neck, and a pink bill and the legs are pink. Very similar to the Snow Goose, which it is often seen with, but is smaller with a smaller bill and a rounder head.

Ross’s Goose Sound


Ross’s Goose Habitat & Range

This bird can be found in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and the Arctic tundra of North America and Eurasia during the summer months.

However, during the winter months, it migrates south to California, Mexico, and Texas where they spend time from November through March each year before returning north again when spring arrives again.

Ross’s Goose Range Map credit

Ross’s Goose Diet

In the summer months, it lives in wetlands, lakes, and rivers where it feeds on aquatic plants. In the winter it moves south to warmer climates where it feeds on grasses, grains, and other types of vegetation. The Ross’s Goose has a unique diet, which includes small fish and insects.

Ross’s Goose Nesting

The Ross’s goose nests near water, often on islands or peninsulas. The nest is a scrape in the ground, lined with vegetation. The female lays three to seven eggs.

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)

Greater White-fronted Goose

The Greater White-fronted goose is named after the white patch at the top of its bill. These are medium-sized geese. It is named for the patch of white feathers bordering the base of its bill. In fact, albifrons comes from the Latin albus “white” and frons “forehead”.

  • Scientific Name: Anser albifrons
  • Height: 64–81 cm (25–32 in)
  • Wingspan: 130–165 cm (51–65 in)
  • Weight: 1.93–3.31 kg (4 lb 4 oz – 7 lb 5 oz)

Greater White-fronted Goose Description

The Greater White-fronted Goose is a dusky-brown goose with a long, thin neck and a small bill. It is characterized by its white belly and white patch on its face with orange legs. The bill is pinkish or orange with a white tip.

Listen to Greater White-fronted Goose


Greater White-fronted Goose Habitat & Range

The Greater White-fronted Goose is native to the northern hemisphere in North America and Eurasia. They are found in open areas such as grasslands, wetlands, taiga, arctic tundra, and alpine meadows, pond edges and lakeshores during the summer months and migrate south for the winter months. They prefer to nest on tundra or lakeshores but will nest on rocky beaches if necessary.

The Greater White-fronted Goose can be found in the Arctic tundra of North America, Europe, and Asia. They are migratory birds that breed in Canada, the United States, Iceland, and Greenland. In the winter they migrate south to Northern Africa and southern Europe.

Greater White-fronted Goose Diet

They prefer grassy areas with some water nearby for food sources but can also adapt to other habitats. They also feed on plants such as sedges, grasses, rushes and other aquatic plants as well as insects such as beetles and spiders that live in these habitats. They also eat insects such as moths and worms as well as small frogs or fish.

Greater White-fronted Nesting

The population of Greater White-fronted Geese is estimated at around 10 million birds worldwide which makes them one of the most abundant geese species! They lay 5-6 cream colored eggs in grassy sections.

Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)

Pink-footed Goose
Pink-footed Goose
  • Scientific Name: Anser brachyrhynchus
  • Height: 60–75 cm (24–30 in)
  • Wingspan: 135–170 cm (53–67 in)
  • Weight: 1.8–3.4 kg (4.0–7.5 lb)

This is a rare visitor to North Eastern US, but becoming increasingly more common as it migrates with other geese species. It is a small goose which breeds in the Artic.

Pink-footed Goose Description

The Pink-footed Goose is a medium-sized goose with a pinkish bill and legs, as well as a white belly. It has a white head and neck with a black stripe running down its back and a black tail. The body is white except for a black breast, belly, and vent. The bill is yellow and red, with yellow on top and red on the bottom. The legs are pink.

Listen to Pink-footed Goose


Pink-footed Goose Habitat & Range

It’s a migratory goose that breeds in Iceland, Greenland, and Scandinavia. It winters on the coasts of North America and Europe. They are also known for gathering in large flocks to feed or roost together during migration.

In winter, they migrate south to warmer climates in Europe or Africa. The population is large enough that they can survive in areas where there is no natural water source for them to nest in—they simply dig holes in dry grassland instead.

Pink-footed Goose Range Map

Pink-footed Goose Diet

Pink-footed geese feed on aquatic plants, including algae and tubers such as sedges and grasses; they also eat small fish and invertebrates such as snails or worms when they can find them.

Pink-footed Goose Nesting

They breed on the Arctic tundra near ponds or lakes that have open water in summer. Their nests are made formed in rocky crags. They lay 3-6 eggs per clutch and both parents incubate them for about 25 days.

Brant (Branta bernicla)


The black brant is the smallest and darkest member of the ” true geese ” (i.e., those belonging to the genus Branta ), with a body length of 50–60 cm (20–24 in). It has a short, stout bill and legs, and is slightly smaller than the Canada goose. The black brant is a gregarious bird, forming large flocks outside the breeding season. It feeds on grasses and other aquatic plants, and will uproot crops if its numbers are high enough.

  • Scientific Name: Branta bernicla
  • Height: 55–66 cm (22–26 in)
  • Wingspan: 106–121 cm (42–48 in)
  • Weight: 0.88–2.2 kg (1.9–4.9 lb)

Brant Description

The Brant is similar to the Canada Goose with a black head and neck with a white neck collar, but is smaller with a shorter neck, with dark bellies. There are several subspecies which have different coloration on the bellies and sides, known tas the Black Brant or the Pacific Brant, the Pale-bellied Brant or Atlantic Brant and the dark bellied brant breeds of Europe.

Listen to Brant


Brant Habitat & Range

The brant goose is a migratory bird, wintering in southern Europe, Africa, and western Asia. It is an occasional vagrant to North America, where it is most often seen in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

It can be found in North America and spends most of its time in coastal waters. Brant migrate from their wintering grounds back to their breeding grounds each year.

Brant Diet

Most brant geese feed only on a single species of seagrass, known as eelgrass. They also eat sea lettuce, but their primary food source is eelgrass. They prefer eating at night because it’s easier to spot prey when it’s dark out (they have poor eyesight). Brant prefers living near bodies of water such as lakes or oceans because they need water to survive – without it, they would die within days.

Brant Nesting

Females lay 3-5 eggs in a nest of moss and down.

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

Barnacle Goose
Barnacle Goose

Rare in North America and when spotted its usually within a flock of Canada Geese.

  • Scientific Name: Branta leucopsis
  • Height: 55–70 cm (22–28 in)
  • Wingspan: 130–145 cm (51–57 in)
  • Weight: 1.21–2.23 kg (2.7–4.9 lb)

Barnacle Goose Description

The barnacle goose is a small goose with a white body and black wings, a black neck, with a white face and black bill. Its crown, eye line and legs are black.

Listen to Barnacle Goose


Barnacle Goose Habitat & Range

Barnacle geese are migratory geese that are native to the Arctic and northern Europe. They spend winters in southern Europe, Africa, India, and Australia. They breed in Iceland, Greenland, Northern Scandinavia, and Canada.

Barnacle Goose range map credit

Barnacle Goose Diet

Barnacle Geese feed primarily on grasses, leaves, and other aquatic plants, grains, and algae during their breeding season but also consume insects during migration periods when food may be scarce.

Barnacle Goose Nesting

The Barnacle Goose lays 4-6 eggs in a nest lined with down but on the rock edge. The young Barnacle Goslings have to undergo significant challenges making their way from cliff edges to the water below a few hours after hatching.

Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)

Cackling Goose
Cackling Goose

Once considered part of the Canada Goose species, this has now been classified as a distinct species in its own right. It’s high pitched voice distinguishes it from the Canada goose which has a much lower pitched honk.

  • Scientific Name: Branta hutchinsii
  • Height: 24.8–25.6 in (63–65 cm)
  • Wingspan: 43 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs

Cackling Goose Description

Very similar to the Canada Goose, but they have rounder heads and shorter bills. On the dark coast the birds are darker than those found on the east coast. The head is black with a white chin or neck strap, with a greyish brown body and black legs, feet and bill.

Listen to Cackling Goose


Cackling Goose Habitat and Range

The Cackling Goose’s breeding habitat is wet meadows near lakes or ponds where they feed on grasses, sedges, and other plants. They nest on the ground in areas that are often flooded by water during the spring months.

In the late summer months when the breeding season has ended, cackling geese will migrate southward towards warmer climates in order to escape cold weather conditions found further north.

Cackling Goose Range Map credit :

Cackling Goose Diet

Cackling Geese are omnivores which means they eat both plants as well as seeds, roots, small animals such as insects or worms, and grasses during the summer months, and crustaceans such as clams or snails. However, their main source of food comes from grazing on grasses along marshes or fields which can be found near large bodies of water such as lakes or rivers.

Cackling Goose Nesting

Only females incubate the eggs (laying between 2-8) and the goslings leave the nest within 24 hours, and fledge at 6 weeks, though they stay with the family for migration.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Canada Goose
Canada Goose

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.

A sub species of the Canada goose is the Giant Canada Goose.

What kind of geese are in North America?

Most of the geese in America are direct descents of the original goose, the greylag goose. From that you will get many different species from a dusky canada goose, cackling canada goose, a snow goose with a blue morph colour, to a snow goose notable by its pink legs, or the Greater white fronted goose notable for its dark brown head.

From white geese to grey geese and the mixture in between can be found, and there has even been an occasional spotting of a red breasted goose. The swan goose duck species are all part of the waterfowl family.

How many types of geese are there in North America?

There are 9 different species of geese in America, though some of these can be broken down into further species, and also there are 7 ‘accidental’ geese found here, who are not native but have been spotted often in flocks of other geese.

There are seven native geese species in the US.

What is the most common geese in North America?

The most common is the canada goose which is very prevalent across the US, and can be found on parks, golf courses and even larger gardens. The giant canada goose is the largest wild goose in the US and it was thought it was the same species as the cackling goose, but recent studies have shown them to be separate species.

Accidental Geese Species in America

The following geese are spotted on occassion in America, but these are rare and ‘accidental’.

  • Graylag Goose
  • Lesser White-fronted Goose
  • Taiga Bean-Goose
  • Tundra Bean-Goose
  • Hawaiian Goose
  • Orinoco Goose
  • Egyptian Goose

Graylag Goose (Anser Anser)

Graylag Goose

The Graylag goose is a species of goose that is native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. It has a grayish-brown plumage, a dark grayish brown body with a white neckband, crown, and rump, and its legs are yellow-orange. The head of the bird is black with a white ring around its neck. It has a light brown breast and belly with dark brown wings, tail, and bill.

  • Scientific Name: Anser anser
  • Length: 74 – 91 centimetres
  • Wingspan: 41.2 – 48 centimetres (16+1⁄4 to 19 in)
  • Weight: 3.3 kilograms

Graylag Goose Description

In the wild, most Graylag geese inhabit arid landscapes such as grasslands or open fields near water bodies where they can find food such as grains, grasses, seeds, or berries; they also eat aquatic plants like water lilies. The Graylag goose lives in large groups on land or in water.

Graylag Goose Sound


Graylag Goose Habitat & Range

It winters southwards to the Mediterranean region and throughout Europe, including Great Britain. In England and Wales, it is often known as the barnacle goose due to its habit of feeding on barnacles attached to rocks in coastal areas

During winter months when food is more plentiful they congregate in large flocks near water bodies such as rivers or lakes where they forage for seeds along river banks or floating ice sheets which offer protection against predators such as wolves and lynx.


Graylag Goose Diet

They are very social birds, often forming large flocks where there is enough food for everyone to eat together without causing too much competition for resources like food or water sources. This means that it is not uncommon for there to be hundreds of thousands of these birds together at once!

Graylag Goose Nesting

The Graylag goose breeds mainly in the UK but also nests in arctic tundra of northern Europe and Asia. They nest in holes in trees or on the ground.

The female lays an average of 7 eggs per clutch and incubates them for 28 days. The young will grow quickly after they hatch and will be able to fly within 40 days of birth!

Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus)

Lesser White-fronted Goose
Lesser White-fronted Goose

Listen to Lesser White-fronted Goose

Lesser White-fronted Geese are medium-sized geese with a black head and neck, a white breast and belly, and a brown back. They have a white patch at the base of the bill that extends over their face. They also have a red wattle at the base of their bill. The sexes are similar in appearance.

  • Scientific Name: Anser erythropus
  • Height: 53–66 cm (21–26 in)
  • Wingspan: (120–135 cm 47–53 in)
  • Weight: 1.8 kg

Lesser White-fronted Goose Description

The scientific name comes from anser, the Latin for “goose”, and erythropus, “red-footed”, derived from the old Greek eruthros “red” and pous “foot”.

Lesser White-fronted Goose Sound


Lesser White-fronted Goose Habitat & Range

This species prefers to live near fresh water marshes with tall grasses where they can feed on reeds and other aquatic plants. They are migratory birds that will travel over great distances during their annual migration journey to find food and shelter for the winter months when temperatures drop below freezing point (Fahrenheit) at night time temperatures throughout most parts of the world where they reside during this time period each year.

They live in Europe and Asia as well as parts of Africa. They migrate south for the winter to warmer climates in Africa, India, Pakistan, and southern China.

Lesser White-fronted Goose Range Map credit:

Lesser White-fronted Goose Diet

Lesser White-fronted Geese eat grass and aquatic plants like cattails and bulrushes. They also eat insects such as beetles, flies, moths, spiders, snails, and worms when they can find them during migration or while visiting wetlands during the breeding season or wintering grounds.

Lesser White-fronted Goose Nesting

They nest on the ground in the Arctic tundra in Siberia or Greenland. The current population is estimated to be around 1 million birds worldwide, according to The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Taiga Bean-Goose (Anser fabalis)

Taiga Bean-Goose

The Taiga Bean-goose is one of the rarest birds in North America. It was first observed in 1804, and it has been spotted only a handful of times since then. It is also known as the Bean Goose, Jack Snipe Goose, or Buff-breasted Goose.

  • Scientific Name: Anser fabalis
  • Height: 68 to 90 cm (27–35 in)
  • Wingspan: 140 to 174 cm (55–69 in)
  • Weight: 1.7–4 kg (3.7–8.8 lb)

Taiga Bean-Goose Description

It has black plumage on its back and brown plumage on its chest, with white on its face and neck. It also has a bright red bill and legs, which help to distinguish it from other species of goose that have similar markings but different colors on their legs or bills.

Taiga Bean-Goose Sound


Taiga Bean-Goose Habitat & Range

The Taiga Bean-Goose breeds in the taiga of northern Russia and winters in Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. It is a migratory bird that breeds in the taiga of northern Europe and Asia, with the majority of its population wintering in southeast Europe.

The Taiga Bean-goose can be found in northern Canada and Alaska during the summer months. However, they migrate southward during the winter months so they can remain warm enough to survive in these cold climates. This bird prefers to live in remote areas such as bogs or wetlands where there aren’t many humans around so that it doesn’t have to compete for food with people or other animals such as bears or wolves (which might prey upon them).

Taiga Bean-Goose Range Map credit

Taiga Bean-Goose Diet

The Taiga Bean-Goose feeds on plants like sedges and grass, which they find by digging through snow or using their bill to probe beneath it. Their diet also includes insects like grasshoppers, snails, and worms. These birds have an average lifespan of 20 years, but some have been known to live as long as 40 years!

This bird prefers cold climates—its range includes tundra and taiga forests that are above the tree line in the northern hemisphere. It breeds in these areas and migrates south during winter.

Taiga Bean-Goose Nesting

The Taiga Bean Goose is a protected species in Canada as well as many other countries throughout Europe and Asia. It’s one of the most common species of geese found throughout these areas, so it’s very important that we continue protecting them so that they don’t become extinct!

Tundra Bean-Goose (Anser serrirostris)

Tundra Bean-Goose
Tundra Bean-Goose

The Tundra Bean-goose is a beautiful, unique bird breed in northern Siberia. This bird is also called the Pink-footed Goose, despite having feet that are mostly black. This bird is also called the Pink-footed Goose, despite having feet that are mostly black.

  • Scientific Name: Anser serrirostris
  • Height: 68 to 90 cm (27–35 in)
  • Wingspan: 140 to 174 cm (55–69 in)
  • Weight: 1.7–4 kg (3.7–8.8 lb)

Tundra Bean-Goose Description

The Tundra Bean-Goose is a medium-sized goose with a black head and neck, white cheeks, and a creamy-white breast. It has black wings with white primary feathers on the inner edges. Its tail is black with cream-colored tips on the outer feathers. The legs are pinkish-brown, and its bill is bright red.

While this bird spends most of its time foraging for food, it will often fly into the air at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour when disturbed by humans or predators. It’s also one of the fastest birds in the world.

Tundra Bean-Goose Sound


Tundra Bean-Goose Habitat & Range

The Tundra Bean Goose breeds in North America, Greenland, and Iceland. They migrate southwards in winter to Europe, Africa, South Asia, and Australia. The populations from Canada and Alaska migrate south through the Rocky Mountains into California, Mexico, and Central America.

While once common throughout their range, the population has declined dramatically due to hunting and habitat destruction. The species is currently listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) if climate change continues to impact its habitat.

Tundra Bean-Goose credit

Tundra Bean-Goose Diet

They eat grass and sedges, which they find by probing the ground with their bills. Their diet also includes insects such as beetles or flies and larvae, grasses, and sedges found in the wetland areas where they live. They are monogamous and form lifelong bonds with their mates.

Tundra Bean-Goose Nesting

This bird uses open grassy areas for breeding but will also nest on tundra and coastal areas where there are no trees or shrubs nearby such as Arctic tundra (where it can be found during summer months) or glaciated regions such as Greenland (where it can be seen during winter).

Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis)

Hawaiian Goose
Hawaiian Goose

The Hawaiian Goose is a unique bird that lives in Hawaii, and it’s one of the most sought-after species by birdwatchers. They can fly up to 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour).

  • Scientific Name: Branta sandvicensis
  • Height: 41 cm (16 in)
  • Wingspan: 36-38 inches
  • Weight: Males: 1.695–3.05 kg (3.74–6.72 lb) / Female: 1.525–2.56 kg (3.36–5.64 lb)

Hawaiian Goose Description

The Hawaiian Goose has a reddish-brown hue on its head and neck, with white flanks and belly. Its wings are black with white outer edges, and its legs are long and pink. The bill of the Hawaiian goose is light grey, with a white tip on the upper mandible.

Hawaiian Goose Sound

Listen to Hawaiian Goose


Hawaiian Goose Habitat & Range

The habitat for the Hawaiian Goose includes grasslands and wetlands, coastal dunes, lava plains, and related anthropogenic habitats such as pasture as well as open clearings in forests near bodies of water on the Hawaiian Islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii.

This species tends to live near bodies of water because it relies on them for food and survival.

Hawaiian Goose Range Map credit

Hawaiian Goose Diet

The Hawaiian goose prefers grasses and other plants for feeding purposes. They also eat small insects such as ants, termites, beetles etc., when available in abundance during certain seasons like summer months. They have been seen to form large flocks when there is plenty of food available, but they will split into smaller groups when conditions are not favorable for feeding.

Hawaiian Goose Nesting

These geese usually live in pairs or small groups, but they may gather together with other species of birds during mating season or to care for their offspring. They build their nests on the ground near water sources like ponds or streams.

The Hawaiian Goose is endemic to Hawaii and has been endangered since 1967, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its population was once around 100 birds in 1940 but has since dropped significantly due to habitat loss and the introduction of non-native species such as mongooses and rats into their natural habitat.

Orinoco Goose (Neochen jubata)

Orinoco Goose
Orinoco Goose

The Orinoco Goose is a migratory bird that can be found in the Caribbean region. It is the only goose species that nests in trees near water sources such as rivers or lakes, and it does so in large colonies. They are known as “tree geese” because they nest in tree cavities or on branches instead of on the ground like other birds do.

  • Scientific Name: Neochen jubata
  • Height: 61 to 76 cm (24 to 30 in)
  • Wingspan: 88 inches
  • Weight: Males: 3.4 pounds (1.54 kg) / Females: 2.7 pounds (1.22 kg)

Orinoco Goose Description

The Orinoco Goose is a large, long-necked goose that has a long, narrow bill with a black tip and pink base. The male Orinoco Goose has a dark chocolate brown head, neck, and breast with white cheeks and forecrown. The female is similar to the male but has a lighter brown head, neck, and breast with white cheeks.

Orinoco Goose Sound

Listen to Orinoco Goose


Orinoco Goose Habitat & Range

The Orinoco Goose is rarely seen outside of its natural habitat in South America. This habitat consists primarily of marshy areas near swamps, rivers and lakes.

They live in the marshes of South America, where it can be found in Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. They are also found in Central America, but here they are not as common as they are in South America.

Orinoco Goose Range Map credit

Orinoco Goose Diet

The diet of the Orinoco Goose consists mostly of aquatic plants such as water lilies and floating weeds but also includes seeds from sedges and cattails. They will also eat small insects if they happen to come across them while searching for food in shallow waters where these insects dwell during dry seasons.

Orinoco Goose Nesting

It is most common in Venezuela, Guyana, and Colombia; however, due to hunting for its meat and feathers, it has become increasingly rare. In fact, this species is classified as “Near Threatened” according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)

Egyptian Goose
Egyptian Goose

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 Range Map credit

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.

Geese Diet

If you have pet geese or even want to feed some wild geese, then follow our guides to what geese can and can’t eat, you can even find out Why Do Geese Eat Grass? It’s important if keeping geese to ensure they have a balanced diet and this includes ensuring your geese eat enough niacin.

Geese Health & Behavior

If you are looking at wild geese, there are many things to remember. Goose droppings can be toxic, but geese don’t carry rabies but do have other pests like ticks. Geese can attack humans if you get to close and they can bite, with geese tongues have teeth like features and yes, geese do have ears!

Geese can be a pest or a nuisance and you may need to take actions to get rid of geese of your property and especially to keep geese off your dock. Geese can live a long time so its important to move them along if you don’t want them on your property. Scaring geese with sounds can help.

As waterfowl, generally, geese and ducks get along (however, geese and ducks cannot mate).Geese have webbed feet like ducks and geese will drool. However, geese may attack ducks and will attack other geese, like all wild animals to defend their nests, even attacking snakes and remember Geese can Eat Snakes.

Nesting Geese

Geese can lay eggs continually, but generally don’t unlike chickens, with goose eggs hatching in 27 days.. Goslings or baby geese stay with both parents for the season (often carried by their parents), and goslings learn to fly after a few weeks. Geese don’t generally abandon their eggs, unless they have been spooked.

Geese prefer to est on the ground but geese will nest in trees and once geese have a partner, they tend to Geese Mate For Life, (and yes geese do mourn their mates) geese do need a pond for mating. You may have noticed geese often stand on one leg, that’s to conserve energy.

Once they have laid their eggs, they generally don’t move their eggs. Geese don’t bury their eggs but do put materials over the nest to hide them and geese don’t lay their eggs in water.

Geese Flying

Geese flying formations have been the study of many leadership courses over the years. The teamwork involved means that when the geese fly together in the optimal v formation, the whole flock of geese can fly a lot further in one day.

They often fly at night as they can see much better than humans at night. You might be wondering, how How Do Geese Decide Who Leads, quite simply they take it turns in true team style!

Geese eyesight is good and geese do blink, sort of!

Geese & Other Waterfowl

Geese and ducks are the most popular types of waterfowl in North America, and other than their size you might be wondering what’s the difference between geese and ducks or even between geese and swans.

Geese and ducks cannot mate even though they are

Geese in America by State

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