Characterized by long neck and non-iridescent coloration, geese are the largest waterfowls, the other being swans. Though they are waterfowls, they spent most of their time on land. Geese are divided into two major genera, namely, Anser geese and Branta geese. The Anser geese have pink, orange or grey legs and bills, which are serrated. The species that belong to this genera are Bar-Headed, Bean, Emperor, Greylag, Pink-Footed, Ross’, Snow, Swan Goose and White-Fronted. The Branta geese can be distinguished by their black bills that are softer than those of the Anser geese and without serrations. Barnacle, Brant, Canada, Nene or Hawaiian and Red-Breasted are the species that belong to this group. The domestic geese, which are kept as poultry are also used as watch birds. They are the most violent among all poultry and they have been used as watch guards since centuries. Read on further to know more interesting and amazing information on geese.
Group Name: G aggle, flock, skein
Length: 21.7-43.3 inches
Weight: 20-25 pounds
Lifespan: 25 years
Diet: Green vegetation and grains.
Habitat: Ponds, river and shore lakes.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 3 years
Gestation Period: 28-30 days
Number of Offspring: 5 eggs
Interesting & Amazing Information On Geese
- Geese always fly in the shape of a ‘V’, as it allows at least 71% greater flying range. When the goose in the lead gets tired, another goose takes over the position.
- They usually feed on slugs, snails, worms, mice, hamsters, wheat, barley and froglets.
- While mating, geese stay monogamous for their entire life, producing families together every year. When a mate dies or is killed, the other will waits for years before choosing a new mate and sometimes, stay single as well.
- Geese have a very strong instinct to return to their general area of birth to mate and nest. They either return to the exact site or to a nearby pond or body of water. Some even fly 2,000-3,000 miles to return to these sites.
- The female goose builds the nest and lays one egg each day, until the full clutch of about 5 eggs is obtained.
- The baby geese, called goslings, are able to dive and swim 30 to 40 feet underwater when they are only 1 day old.
- Geese are one of the few birds who do not break up their family at the end of the breeding season.
- Every year, the adult geese lose their flight and tail feathers, which is called molting. The new feathers take about 6 weeks to come back.
- Male geese are very protective of their female partner and will always stand between her and a perceived threat.
- The geese use about 10 different sounds for communicating, depending upon the situation faced by them.
- The natural predators of geese are foxes, owls, raccoons and snapping turtles.
- Nests are always built by the female geese, but sometimes, instead of building a new nest, they may use nests abandoned by other birds such as owl, osprey, hawk, or heron.
- If there several geese families in the same area, they form a crèche and take of all the goslings, with equal attention to all.
- A goose starts looking for a mate once its three years old.
- Geese are extremely affectionate towards each other. If a goose falls sick or is wounded they take care of it until or recovers or heals.
- The male and female are quite similar, they only way to tell the difference is by checking their size. The males are slighter bigger than their counterparts.
- The Canadian geese are considered the smartest of all geese species.
- The wing span of a goose is more than six feet. This enables it to fly very fast, with an average cruising speed of 30 miles per hour. Their speed during migration goes up to 40 miles per hour and if they are in a hurry they fly as fast as sixty miles per hour.
- Generally, geese like green patches of lands with water bodies. They prefer short grasslands with fertilized grass for feeding. Therefore, they are attracted towards parks, playgrounds, golf courses or well-maintained lawns.
- The average life span of a goose is about 25 years.