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WHAT ARE CANADA GEESE?


Canada Geese are found throughout North America. They have a black neck, bill and head with occasional white patches and a white strap under the chin. The body is usually brownish-gray although colors vary in some of the subspecies. In some of the smaller subspecies the body is dark brown in color where as in some of the larger subspecies, the body is a light gray tone. Underneath, the colors are much lighter and almost white on the tail. During flight the tail shows a white semi-circle just above the black tail. These color patterns are unique to the Canada Goose.



Females may be slightly smaller than the males, although both are similar to each other in color pattern. The bill of Branta canadensis tapers from the base where it is high to the end where it has narrowed. The bill has lamellae, or teeth around the outside that are a used as a cutting tool. The legs are close together with very black feet. This goose has very large wings that can also be used as weapons. The weight of Branta canadensis also varies depending on the subspecies. There are larger subspecies that weigh about 9 pounds and smaller subspecies that only weigh 3 pounds.














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Males in this species are more aggressive than females. The bills are used not only for eating, but also in attacks and grooming. These birds take to flight when danger approaches. They also lay out flat and still on the ground with their necks stretched out to be less visible to the danger. During warm days of the year, geese flatten their feathers against their body to reduce the dead air space and keep them cool. On cold days, they fluff their feathers to increase their insulating ability.

 

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