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Keep Watch for Goslings While Driving

Photo credit: Stacey Newman

The Canada Goose is one of Milton’s most recognizable residents. This time of year, nests may be found anywhere from parking lots to water reservoirs, to roadside boulevards. Take care while driving as goose families at times do attempt to cross roadways.

May 20, 2017 – Milton, Canada: A Canada Goose family eating together beside a Scott Boulevard sidewalk. Photo by Stacey Newman.

Canada goose (Branta canadensis), is a brown-backed, light-breasted North American goose with a black head and neck. It has white cheeks that flash when the bird shakes its head before taking flight. Along with ducks, swans, and other geese, the Canada goose belongs to the family Anatidae of the waterfowl order Anseriformes. The various subspecies of Canada goose range in size from 2 kg (4.4 pounds) in the cackling goose (B. canadensis minima) to about 6.5 kg (14.3 pounds) in mature males of the giant Canada goose (B. canadensis maxima).

Throughout much of the United States there are also nonmigratory (resident) populations. During their fall migrations, they slice the sky in V-formations, each population adhering to a rigid migratory path with traditional stopover and wintering areas. Strong, swift fliers, they can cover 2,400 km (1,500 miles) in 24 hours when riding wind currents. The V-formation conserves energy by allowing the geese to take advantage of air currents (vortices) created by the wingtips of the bird ahead. They call to one another as they fly, their honking chorus sounding at a distance like a pack of hounds.

(Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica)