Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bird of the Week - XlX

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Canada goose. The Canada goose is the most wide spread and common goose in North America. This large waterbird has a black head and a long, black neck with a white chinstrap. It's breast is a light tan to cream color with a brownish back and a white undertail. The sexes look alike. It's call is a loud "honk."

There are 11 subspecies of the Canada goose, varying widely in size, with some Canada geese weighing about 7 pounds and ranging almost up to 20 pounds. The Canada goose is a popular game bird, often targeted by hunters.

The sight of migrating Canada geese flying high in a "V" shape form in the fall is quite a sight. Over the past 60 years, there has evolved a fairly large, non-migratory population of Canada geese here in Massachusetts. Many of these birds have become a nuisance, fouling town commons, golf courses, playing fields, and water supplies.

Canada geese feed in flocks and are herbivorous. That means they eat a variety of plant species and parts, especially grasses, sedges, grain, and berries.

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