Local Wildlife

Canada Goose

Picture of Canada Goose
Scientific Name: Branta canadensis
Audio: Listen Now
Audio Source: Unknown
Addt'l Info: Univ. of Michigan

The canada goose has a black neck, bill, and head and a distinctive white strap "under the chin". The body is usually a brown-grey above with lighter shading underneath and the tail is nearly always white. Finding them in Sunriver is easy. Just go to Lake Aspen or any of the ponds or lakes in the Meadows or Woodlands golf courses.

When on land, the canada goose eats a variety of grasses including Bermuda grass, salt grass, and wild barley. The tiny teeth around the outer edge of their bill allows them to grab hold of each blade and pull it out by jerking their heads. They also eat wheat, beans, rice, and corn. In the water, they eat a number of aquatic plants such as eel grass, sea lettuce, and sago.

The male is responsible for protecting the nest and may charge intruders (including humans) loudly "honking", snapping its bill, and flapping its large wings. Females will stretch out flat on the ground with their wings covering the nest to camouflage it. At other times, these birds will simply take flight if danger approaches.

Adult canada geese weigh between three and nine pounds and have excellent hearing and good eyesight (allowing them to see over 180 degrees horizontally and vertically). They are seldom found alone and constantly communicate amongst themselves. Pairs mate for life, often returning to the same area year after year.