Canada Goose

Branta Canadensis
Canada geese are large birds with a white chip strap/USFWS Photo

Canada geese are quite variable are divided into several subspecies. The western, lesser, dusky and Vancouver subspecies use the refuge. In general, the Canada is large, with a long neck and bill when compared to the daintier cackling goose. The dusky populations have suffered declines in recent decades due to changes in their artic breeding grounds and have been protected. This subspecies primarily winters in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, although some stop in Willapa Bay in route to wintering or breeding areas.

Canada geese primarily feed on vegetation and are drawn to the short grass fields at the Refuge. These geese have adapted well to the human environment, especially golf courses, pastures, park lands and large manicured lawns. Feeding by humans during the winter months seems to have encouraged many of the geese to stay in the region rather than migrate north to breed, and as a result are considered by many to be pests. The Canada goose is common in the Refuge and nests here.

Learn more about the Canada goose…

Facts About Canada Goose

Most wide-spread goose in North America

Very protective of its nest and young

Hisses when startled or approached