Scientific name: Branta canadensis
Size: Up to 100cm. Wingspan up to 170cm
Distribution: Found throughout most of the UK except the north Scotland
Months seen: All year round
Life Span: Can be over 20 years
Habitat: Lakes, reservoirs, rivers and grassland near water
Food: Grass and aquatic plants
Special features: Canada Geese were first introduced into Britain around 300 years ago from North America. King Charles I kept them with other waterfowl on his lake in St. James Park, London.
At the age of one, they look for a partner, who they normally remain with for life. The nest is built of twigs and dry leaves, normally at ground level. They line it with feathers plucked from their own bodies. In March or early April the female lays 5 or 6 eggs which she incubates for 4 weeks, while the male defends the nest against any intruders.
In the 1950's, when their numbers increased to around 3,500, farmers became concerned about the damage the geese were doing while grazing on their crops. The authorities decided to move large numbers of the birds to different locations away from the crops, which had the effect of creating more colonies in more locations.