Canada Geese

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis
A number of Canada goose subspecies can be found at Kaska Goose Lodge. Giant Canadas, the largest of the seven Canada goose subspecies have made a remarkable comeback from near-extinction in the 1960’s to their current population of about 4 million birds in North America, with 1.7 million giants in the Mississippi Flyway. Giant Canadas average over 12 lbs, and can weigh over 20 lbs.

Lesser Canadas and the small, Cackling Richardson Goose also inhabit the Hudson Bay Lowlands. Lesser Canadas typically weigh between 5 and 14 lbs, while the smaller Richardson geese weigh between 2 and 6 lbs.

Distinguishing the smaller Richardson Cackling Goose from the lesser Canada Goose can be a challenge. Until 2004, Cackling Geese and Canada Geese were considered one species. Due to genetic differences Cackling Geese are now considered a separate species with four subspecies There are a number of distinguishing features by which the two species can be differentiated. The two are almost identical in plumage, but Cackling Geese are more delicate, with shorter, stubbier beaks, small, squarish heads with steeper foreheads, shorter, thicker necks and proportionately longer wings to body size. Their calls are higher in pitch than those of Canada Geese.

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