New Jersey - Canada Geese

The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a wild goose belonging to the genus Branta, which is native to Arctic and temperate regions of North America, having a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brownish-gray body. It is often called the Canadian Goose, but that name is not the ornithological standard, or the most common name.


Canadian Geese on a Lake

The black head and neck with white "chinstrap" distinguish the Canada Goose from all other goose species, with the exception of the Barnacle Goose, but the latter has a black breast, and also 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 of the smaller races can be hard to distinguish from the newly-separated Cackling Goose.

This species is 3043 in long with a 5071 in wingspan. The male usually weighs 714 pounds, and can be very aggressive in defending territory. The female looks virtually identical but is slightly lighter at 5.512 pounds, generally 10% smaller than its male counterpart, and has a different honk. An exceptionally large male of the race B. c. maxima, the "giant Canada goose" (which rarely exceed 18 lb), weighed 24 pounds and had a wingspan of 88 inches. This specimen is the largest wild goose ever recorded of any species. The life span in the wild is 1024 years.


A Goose Takes to the Air

In New Jersey, non-migratory Canada Goose populations have been on the rise. The species is frequently found on golf courses, parking lots and urban parks, which would have previously hosted only migratory geese on rare occasions. Owing to its adaptability to human-altered areas, it has become the most common waterfowl species in North America. In many areas, non-migratory Canada Geese are now regarded as pests. They are suspected of being a cause of an increase in high fecal coliforms at beaches. An extended hunting season and the use of noise makers have been used in an attempt to disrupt suspect flocks.

Many of the Wildlife Service Companies that we have listed have been engaged in lethal culls nad egg addlig of Canada Geese primarily in urban or densely populated areas. They respond to municipalities or private land owners, such as golf courses, who find the geese obtrusive or object to their waste.