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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Canada Goose

I've pictured this bird before, the Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), but since it's named for the country and is resident here in Victoria all year round and is so photogenic and big and tame I thought I'd take another look at it. Many Canada Geese do migrate between winter grounds in the southern USA and Mexico and summer breeding areas in Northern Canada and most of us have nostalgic memories of the Vs of wild geese heading southwards in the autumn with their plaintive honking high overhead. Many years ago I lived near a high south-facing cliff and always enjoyed watching the geese when they reached the updraft from this cliff. Then they would float in spiraling circles in the updraft while they gained altitude in this natural elevator. When they had risen up a few thousand feet they would re-form their V and continue their journey.

Like many birds, Canada Geese are monogamous. They choose a mate when they are young and remain mated for a life that may last over 20 years. Considering that these birds are often migratory, flying thousands of miles yearly, and often travel and graze in fairly large flocks, it seems quite remarkable to me that in the absence of moral strictures or social pressures they maintain such stable relationships.


Margaret said...

I had a Canadian goose who tried to land here one day. The wild turkeys ganged up on him and chased him away. I think they are beautiful birds, but they can take over.

JoJo said...

Maybe they are tame in their home country, but the Canada geese down here are downright nasty. They attack people all the time!!!