All About the Canada Goose

— Hil­son Av­enue Pub­lic School, Ot­tawa — Grade 6

Wild - - DID YOU KNOW... - By An­ge­line Yan

You’ve prob­a­bly seen or at least heard of the Canada Goose be­fore. These her­bi­vores (an­i­mals that eat only plants) are found in all the prov­inces and ter­ri­to­ries of Canada and across the United States.

Canada Geese are in­cred­i­ble mi­gra­tors. They can cover over 1,500 kilo­me­tres with prefer­able wind con­di­tions in just 24 hours! So it’s re­ally im­por­tant for them to stick to­gether and not get left be­hind.

Chances are, you’ve no­ticed that Canada Geese al­ways mi­grate in a “V” for­ma­tion. This isn’t just ran­dom — it’s aero­dy­namic and strate­gic. The geese take turns fly­ing in front and cre­at­ing less wind re­sis­tance for the birds fly­ing be­hind, which saves them en­ergy. When the goose in front gets tired, it fall sto the back of the line, and the next goose comes for­ward.

An­other ben­e­fit of fly­ing in a “V” is to com­mu­ni­cate and co­or­di­nate well, and to keep track of each other when they’re fly­ing. Mother Na­ture has re­ally got them cov­ered!

Dur­ing mi­gra­tion, mat­ing part­ners re­main to­gether (and ac­tu­ally stay to­gether for their whole lives). Dur­ing mat­ing sea­son, they build a nest out of dry plants, and the fe­male chooses the spot, usu­ally on high ground, where there is a good view in all direc­tions, in case of preda­tors.

The two par­ents split the re­spon­si­bil­ity of rais­ing the goslings dur­ing the nest­ing sea­son. The fe­male lays the eggs and the male shares the task of keep­ing them warm. He will also pro­tect the goslings from preda­tors once they hatch.

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