Skip Navigation

Canada Geese

Branta canadensis
CanadaGeese large 520x412

Modoc NWR provides year round habitat for nesting and migrating Canada geese. Between 400-700 pairs of geese begin their nesting efforts at the Refuge in late winter and early spring. Peak hatching occurs between late-April and early-May, and for the next 60-65 days the young geese take refuge in the wetlands and wet meadows to try to survive to fledge. Once they are able to fly, they're likelihood of survival is much greater.


As nearby wetlands begin to dry up in the late-summer, geese begin to migrate to the Refuge to take advantage of the available habitat. As fall progresses and temperatures decline, the geese begin to migrate, and some will travel southward for the winter, while others will stop to brave the cold Modoc winter, feeding primarily on waste grains and green grass. As winter weather begins subsiding, the cycle begins again and the Canada geese once again prepare for the nesting season.

Facts About Canada Geese

Nesting: To keep their nests safe from mammalian predators, geese primarily build their nests on islands. After laying an average of 5 eggs per nest, incubation occurs for approximately 26 days before hatching. The young chicks spend a short time at the nest before they head for a wetland to begin their long journey towards flight.
Last Updated: Feb 07, 2013
Return to main navigation