Canada Goose: The Bird We Have No Choice but to "Love"

Posted on September 17, 2021

If you've been keeping up with Insurdinary's articles, you know that this company cares deeply about making sure that Canadian's get the best insurance possible. We're usually focused on insurance (just look at our name after all), but today, it's time to look at the "Canadian" side of the equation. 

And what better to represent our love of Canadian culture than Canada's pride and joy? (ahem) — the Canada goose. 

Over the course of Canada's extended lockdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic, many Canadian's didn't venture far from the home. But now, Canadian's are back in public parks and experiencing the pleasure, nay, the privilege of stepping in Canadian goose poop, yet again. 

Love 'em or hate 'em, Canadian geese are an important part of Canadian culture. American's have Turkey's and Eagles, we have Geese; so we might as well learn about them. 

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about Canadian geese and teach you a bit about Canadian culture along the way.

Floating canada goose

Canadian Goose Important Facts

NAMEDETAILS
Common NameCanada Goose (or Canadian Goose)
Scientific NameBranta Canadensis
TypeBirds
DietHervibore
Group NameFlock
Ave. Life Span24 years
SizeBody: 30 - 43 inches; Wingspan: 4.2 - 5.6 feet
Weight6.6 - 19.8 pounds
ColorBlack, White, Brown
Information SourceNational Geographic

Canada Geese Frequently Asked Question

Below are the commonly asked question about Canada Goose on 'Google Search' and other popular 'Question and Answer' websites:

What Do Canadian Geese Eat?

Canadian geese mainly feast on a diet of table scraps and children's fingers. They might look friendly, but we implore you: please do not let your children pet the geese. 

In all seriousness, geese are vegetarians. They eat grass and sedges in the summer, and berries and seeds in the fall/winter. Our sources say they're also particularly adept at removing kernels from dry corn cobs...do with that information what you will. 

Geese eat for twelve hours a day. That's right, their need for nutrients is so high that they have to be eating practically every waking hour. Do not try to come between a goose and its food!

But it gets worse than that. Geese tend to eat more before they fly north after the winter. If you've found a shortage of berries on your favourite bush deep in the winter — now you know why. 

Canadian geese have been known to graze on golf courses in the summer, which is why they're a favourite of people who absolutely hate golf.

Do Canadian Geese Mate for Life?

Many things can be said about Canadian geese. One could call them hungry, annoying, squawky, territorial, aggressive poopers, scary, loyal, angry, bird-like, and even Canadian. 

But are they monogamous? Or do Canadian geese prefer the swinging lifestyle?

Canadian geese do, in fact, mate for life. They form very strong bonds and, unlike humans, have a very low "divorce rate." They don't have marriage ceremonies though, so they're best compared to a very strong common law marriage

Funnily enough, geese tend to mate based on size. Larger geese mate with larger geese and smaller ones mate with smaller ones. Opposites definitely do not attract in their world.

Most geese wait a little bit to have kids, however, and pair-bonds between geese aren't considered truly strong until around two years into the relationship. Copulation outside of the pairs has been reported, but usually stops after this two-year period. 

When you come to think of it, that's not a bad rule. Perhaps humans could learn from this. While you're still getting to know someone in a relationship, maybe you should get to. . . shop around a little, to see if you're sure. (While we think this is funny, please note that Insurdinary is not actually giving that advice.  We specialize in insurance - not sowing our wild goose oats)

It might seem strange to take love advice from a goose. But 40 percent of Canadian marriages end in divorce so...it may be best to learn from our fluffy friends. 

Where Do Canadian Geese Migrate To?

Geese tend to fly southerly for the winter. However, they don't need to fly very far, since they're adapted to survive in some pretty cold conditions. 

The only Canadian geese that migrate long distances are the ones that are based up north. Geese in the southern regions tend to migrate less. 

Geese are much like aristocratic families in the 19th century in that they have "winter homes" that they travel to. Rather than roaming around, they tend to travel to the same migratory spots. 

Much like humans as well, they tend to travel in tight-knit, family-based packs. They move in a V-formation, which is somewhat stereotypical of birds. 

Why do geese fly in a V? — it actually saves them energy. This ingenious structure allows them to reduce the wind resistance that the birds behind them face. They take shifts going in front, so they can save as much energy as possible. 

Perhaps we can learn a bit about energy conversation from them too. Maybe it would be best if joggers and runners ran in flying-v formations. 

Here's a terrifying fact: it's famously tough to track Canadian goose migratory patterns because they travel under the cover of darkness. Fear the night-geese! 

Canadian Geese and their Teeth

One of the most lovable things about geese is that, unlike other birds, they don't just have beaks and squeaks, they have a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth. Geese don't eat meat — so most scientists agree that geese have teeth simply to wreak havoc on humans. 

They're known for not only attacking human flesh with their teeth but also for slowly whittling away fortifications on buildings, causing them to collapse...okay, we're clearly joking here. 

Geese do, in fact, technically, have teeth, but they're not teeth in the traditional sense. They're actually pieces of hard, spikey cartilage known as "tomium". 

One horrifying part of goose anatomy is that their "teeth" don't grow inside of their mouths, they grow directly on their beaks. Imagine a human with a row of teeth sticking out of their lips. 

Geese teeth — or geeth — despite not being made of the same stuff that human teeth are made of, are quite sharp and are designed to rip through vegetation to eat with. This is why goose bites hurt so much. 

But the horror doesn't stop there. Geese have a row of teeth on their tongues! 

Why Are Canada Geese Protected?

Canada geese — like all migratory birds — are protected during non-hunting seasons. This is to make sure that the population of Canadian geese doesn't run out. While geese might be annoying, we don't want them going extinct. 

This law is in place because, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Canada Goose did once almost go extinct. Unregulated hunting led to Canadian geese populations dropping concerningly low. 

The goose population is, at times, known to be a problem, however. When geese breed they get very aggressive, and if they happen to breed around humans, injuries can occur. 

One of the things you can do to reduce the aggressive goose population is to stop hand-feeding geese bread. They sure appreciate the delicious snack, but hand-feeding encourages geese to stick around humans. 

Why Do Geese Make People So Angry?

Geese make people angry for several reasons. The first of which is that they're very territorial, and happen to set up territories in places that humans find pleasant to walk in. 

Geese, unlike most humans, don't mind walking directly up to you and attacking you if they find you walking in their preferred public park. They're famously not at all afraid of humans, and one doesn't have to search long on the internet to find their proper modes of attack

Geese are particularly annoying when they team up on you. One might come at you from the front while another sneaks up on you from behind. They can also cause damage to your clothes if they happen to get those teeth around them. 

They don't just bite either. They're known for being surprisingly strong with their wings. They can knock you off your feet, which can result in broken bones.

Now at the end of the day, a goose shouldn't be that hard to fight. If it came down to it, you could technically grab them by their very long necks and swing them around like a lasso. 

However, don't forget that geese are protected. 

This is what truly makes geese so annoying. They're bullies, they'll attack you, and they'll even break your bones, and you're not allowed to fight back. 

Did You Know that...

Geese have a shockingly long life span — they can live up to around 25 years. That means it's possible to be attacked by the same goose as a child and an adult. 

Can't we pet them. Although we all agreed that they are lovable animals but Canadian geese are loud birds that prefer a natural environment, and they do not make good pets. They are also protected by Federal laws from domestication, making it illegal to keep them as pets.

Male geese compete with one another for the attention of a particular female. The female becomes the mate of the winning male. These North American birds often mate for life. Canadian geese may catch each other by the breast or throat and beat each other with their wings if an intruding goose does not retreat. Injuries are possible as a result of fighting.

Some of the common names for geese are "gaggle", "blizzard", "chevron", and "string" of geese. Our personal favourite is "blizzard", because "Blizzard of Geese" sounds like the name of an awesome Canadian heavy metal band. 

Males are slightly larger in size than females and they have a black head and neck.

Understand the Canada Goose

As you can see, there's a lot more to the Canada goose than attacking humans. Canadian geese are very unique in their eating habits, mating habits, migration patterns, and relationship to human beings. 

However, one should never forget the threat of a goose attack. There's a little to do to fight them off. You could easily sustain injury fighting geese, and wind up out of work. 

That's why it's extremely important to make sure you have a great insurance company. Contact Insurdinary for a quote today, and keep yourself safe from geese.

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