Geese are large waterfowl in the Anatidae family. These birds are closely related to ducks and swans, and are midway between the two in size. Most resources divide geese into three groups, or genuses, the white geese, the grey geese, and the black geese. Within these groups, researchers recognize at least 20 different species of geese.
There are so many different species of geese, and each is interesting in its own right!
Greylag Goose – This species is the primary ancestor of many domestic geese that we keep today. Researchers have heavily studied this species in particular. Ethologist, or animal behavior researcher, Konrad Lorenz, highlighted the concept of a bird “imprinting” based on research with Greylag geese.
Snow Goose – Contrary to their name, snow geese are not always white. Unlike some Arctic animals that are white in winter and dark in the summer, snow geese are either white or dark year-round. Some snow geese have dark blue/black feathers, instead of the typical white.
Canada Goose – Possibly the most famous goose species, Canada geese are incredibly common and widespread. In fact, these geese sometimes become pests because they are so common. When large flocks congregate in parks, their feces can sometimes grow into a nuisance!
Cackling Goose – This poor bird is doomed to never-ending misidentification as the Canada species. Cackling geese look nearly identical to Canada geese in color. These birds, however, are slightly smaller than Canada geese, and have shorter, stubbier bills.
The cackling goose, an endangered species whose numbers have begun to increase as a result of years of conservation efforts
Domestic ducks can live to be 10-15 years old; geese can live 15-20 years.
As a whole, geese live in a huge variety of habitats and ecosystems. For the most part, as waterfowl geese live in areas that are close to the water. Most species prefer living in and around freshwater, rather than salt or brackish water. Some of the different habitats that they live in include l
Most geese are herbivores, and feed primarily on plants. While they are nesting and raising chicks, some species eat greater numbers of insects and invertebrates to help sustain egg production. The vast majority of geese spend their time grazing on grasses.
55 to 70 cm
1.21 to 2.23 kg