Tag Archives: geese

Snow Goose – Chen Caerulescens

Snow Goose


The Snow Goose has two color plumage phases, white (snow geese) or gray/blue (blue geese). The dark color of the blue morph Snow Goose is controlled by a single gene, with dark being snow goosepartially dominant over white.(1) Scientists used to believe these were separate species but now consider the birds the same. White and blue phase birds interbreed and the offspring may be either white or blue.

Snow Geese mate for life. Nesting usually begins at the end of May. They make a shallow ground nest lined with down. The female produces two to six whitish eggs. Incubation takes about 23-25 days, they fledge in 45-49 days. After hatching, the young are covered with down and eyes open. The chicks feed themselves but are protected by both parents. Parents stay with their young through the first winter.

Here is an interesting fact: Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese can breed. I have read that they can also breed with Greater White-fronted Geese, Canada Geese, and Cackling Geese.
These geese are known to gather in massive flocks.


The Snow Goose is a medium-sized goose. They are 22” – 30” long with a wing span of 54″ – 59”. They weigh approximately 4 -6 lbs. Snow geese have two phases – “white” and “blue”. The White Goose as the picture indicates is white except for black wing tips. This phase is more common in the east. The blue phase has bluish-grey plumage replacing the white except on the head, neck and tail tip. This phase is common on the Gulf coast and West.

Both snow and blue phases have rose-red feet and legs, and pink bills with black tomia (“cutting edges”), giving them a black “grin patch.”


In breeding season – on subarctic and arctic tundra, near ponds or streams. In winter – in coastal marshes and bays, wet grasslands, freshwater marshes, and cultivated fields.


The snow goose breeds north of the timberline in Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and the northeastern tip of Siberia


The Snow Goose migrates from its breeding grounds to warmer parts of North America from southwestern British Columbia into parts of the United States and Mexico mostly in salt marshes and coastal bays. Snow Geese travel south in very large, high-flying flocks.


In 1916, snow geese had become so rare in the eastern United States that hunting of the species was banned. Today the snow goose population is strong and growing. So strong in fact that New York has a spring hunting season. The birds have become so numerous in places that they threaten to destroy their own habitat. I do not remember seeing snow geese in eastern New York 20 years ago, now they are common during migration. Hunting is typical goose hunting – field hunting with decoys works well. The meat of snow geese is good. Do not miss an opportunity to hunt these birds. The shooting is fast and fun.


Marsh plants, field grain – corn, rice, wheat, etc

(1) Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Canada goose – Branta canadensis

Canada Goose


Specialized for plant feeding. Aggressive behavior during mating season These birds feed mainly on plant material. When feeding in water, they submerge their heads and necks to reach aquatic plants, sometimes Like most geese, the Canada goose is naturally migratory with the wintering range being most of the tipping forward like a dabbling duck. Flocks of these birds often feed on leftover cultivated grains in fields, especially during migration or in winter.

During the second year of their lives, Canada Geese find themselves a mate. Most couples stay together all of their lives. If one is killed, the other may find a new mate. The female lays 4-8 eggs and both parents protect the nest while the eggs incubate, but the female spends more time at the nest than the male. During that time, they lose their flight feathers, so that they cannot fly until after their eggs hatch. This period lasts for 25-28 days.

Adult geese are often seen leading their goslings in a line, usually wThe Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) belongs to the Branta genus of geeseith one parent at the front, and the other at the back of the “parade”. While protecting their young, parents often violently chase away nearby creatures, from small blackbirds to other geese, to humans that approach, after warning them by giving off a hissing sound. However, geese may form groups of a number of goslings and a few adults, called crèches. The young do not leave their parents until after the spring migration, when they return to their birthplace.

This well-known species is native to North America. It breeds in Canada and the northern United States in a variety of habitats. However, the nest is usually located in an elevated area near water, sometimes on a beaver lodge. The eggs are laid in a shallow depression lined with plant material and down. The Great Lakes region maintains a very large population of Canada Geese.

Like most geese, the Canada goose is naturally migratory with the wintering range being most of the United States. The calls overhead from large groups of Canada Geese flying in V-shaped formation signal the transitions into spring and autumn. In some areas, migration routes have changed due to changes in habitat and food sources. In mild climates, such as the Pacific Northwest, due to a lack of former predators, some of the population has become non-migratory.

Non-migratory Canada Goose populations have been on the increase. They are suspected of being a cause of an increase in high fecal coliforms at State Park beaches. This has led to extended hunting seasons and the use of noise makers in an attempt to disrupt suspect flocks over the course of several years.


Yellow plumage of gosling. The black head and neck with white “chinstrap” distinguish this goose from all canada geese feed mainly on plant materialexcept the Barnacle Goose, but the latter has a black breast, and grey, rather than brownish, body plumage. There are seven subspecies of this bird, of varying sizes and plumage details, but all are recognizable as Canada Geese. Some are hard to distinguish from the Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii), with which the Canada Goose was long assumed to form one species; the name Lesser Canada Goose is, confusingly, often applied to B. hutchinsii.

This species is 90-100 cm long with a 160-175 cm wing span. Males weigh 3.5–6.5 kg, (8–14 pounds), and can be very aggressive in defending territory. The female looks virtually identical but is slightly lighter at 3–5.5 kg (7–12 pounds), and has a different honk. Exceptionally, weights of 11.3 kg (25 pounds) and a wingspan of 224 cm (88 inches) have been recorded in the largest race.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia