Okay so most people think I’m nuts when I say that I actually like Canada Geese. Yes, I know they are messy and loud, and a little pesty at times, but they are a bird that we see very regularly in Nebraska, and let’s be honest, they are awesome to listen to when there is a whole flock of them. Copy and paste this URL to listen:
Many times when doing birding adventures with people, especially if we are by a pond or lake, you are able to spot some Geese. And even though Cardinals, and Chickadees are fantastic birds, it is nice to see a large bird be immobile for more than a few seconds. By the time kids get their binoculars out, and focused, the bird they were trying to look at has vanished. But Canada Geese actually sit there for awhile!
Here are some interesting facts about Canada Geese:
- Geese love pretty much any habitat that is near water; ponds, streams, airports, open lawns, parks, etc.
- During the spring and summer months they spend their days foraging on things like grasses, skunk cabbage, eelweed, and sedges. In winter they rely more on berries, seeds, and agricultural grain.
- Canada Geese are especially fond of Blueberries.
- These birds will make their nests in a large cup shape, somewhere high where they can deter predators from eating their eggs, or them.
- Most of the time these geese will be in large flocks, or family groups, often times being related to part of their flock.
- Canada Geese usually mate for life and have very low “divorce rates.”
- Females will lay one clutch per year and have around 2-8 baby chicks.
- When the hatchlings are born they look very different in color compared to the mother and father. Chicks are usually a bright to dull yellow color, but as they get older they will lose that and gain the black and white pattern.
If you and your kids and or students would like to get involved by monitoring these birds, and other birds in Nebraska join eBird. At eBird you can do the following things and become a citizen scientist.
- Record the birds you see
- Keep track of your bird lists
- Explore dynamic maps and graphs
- Share your sightings and join the eBird community
- Contribute to science and conservation