Canada Goose Branta canadensis   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae
BTO Codes: CG, CANGO EURING No: 1660
Number in Britain: 62 thousand Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: Not Assessed
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (C2)  Introduced Breeder
Subspecies: canadensis recorded in Britain (of 7 subsp. in the world)
Length: 95 cm Wingspan: 168 cm Weight: M/F: 4.6 kg    
Scientific name from: ON: brandgas=burnt goose and after Canada
World Distribution: N America, INTRODUCED: n&w Europe, New Zealand
Habitat: Marsh, meadows, lakes & tundra, also estuaries
Diet: Plant material, incl. roots, tubers, shoots, leaves, mostly grazing on land
TitBit: Originally introduced to Britain in St James Park, London in the mid 17th century, they are reputedly amongst the most inedible of birds.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 62 thousand Pairs in
    Winter: 190 thousand individuals in 2004/05 - 2008/09
    First Record: 1676
    First Breeding Record: Introduced Hampshire 1890
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2011) British Birds 104:364-397
    Conservation Status:
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 Not Assessed     1996-2001 Not Assessed  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Lakes
    Also common in: Ponds
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
European Population Size:
    Summer: 2500 to 10 thousand pairs
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(II,IX), WBD(II*)Bern(III), Bonn(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 86 x 58 mm Egg Weight: 163.0 g (of which 11 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 200
Clutch Size: 5 - 7 eggs
Incubation: 28- 30 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 40 - 48days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.724 ± 0.006       
Juvenile Survival: 0.759 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 3 years Typical Lifespan: 6 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 31 years 10 months 29 days (set in 2007)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: L*
Wing Length Adult: 518.7 ± 33.4 Range 457 - 555 mm, N =56
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: 541.0 ± 20.5 498 - 555 mm, N =24
Female: 505.7 ± 15.4 465 - 515 mm, N =25
Weight Adult: 3.96 ± 0.56 Range 3.20 - 4.85 kg , N =2917
Juvenile: 2.90 ± 0.50 2.00 - 3.55 kg , N =26
Male: 4.27 ± 0.50 3.60 - 4.95 kg , N =1126
Female: 3.67 ± 0.45 3.05 - 4.40 kg , N =1217
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Greater Canada Goose
Previously Chen caerulescens, Has Included Branta hutchinsii 
Gaelic: Gèadh-dubh Welsh: Gwydd Canada
Danish: Canadagås Dutch: Canadese gans
Finnish: Kanadanhanhi French: Bernache du Canada
German: Kanadagans Hungarian: Kanadai lúd
Icelandic: Kanadagæs Irish: Gé Cheanadach
Italian: Oca del Canada Norwegian: Kanadagås
Polish: Bernikla kanadyjska Portuguese: Ganso do Canadá
Spanish: Barnacla canadiense Swedish: Kanadagås

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Kear, J 2005 Ducks, geese and swans Oxford University Press [598.48 KEA]
   Cabot, D. 2009 Wildfowl Collins, London
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides
All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)