flying goose
flying goose

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Canada geese and goslings

Geese often mate for life, and can pine to death at the loss of their mate (Konrad Lorenz).

They are aggressive only when protecting their young.

They are devoted parents and never leave their goslings unguarded.

Canada and white geese

Canada geese aren't racist birds: they happily mix and interbreed with all other types of geese...



...and the resulting offspring can be quite amazing!

hybrid goslings

flying goose
Migrating geese in Canada have been known to allow hitchhikers! Smaller birds have occasionally been found on their backs.

True story

"Last year I helped bring up two injured Canada goslings. They grew so tame they would sit on my lap for a cuddle while I watched T.V. When fully-grown they had to go to an animal sanctuary. They were normally quiet geese, but one day they were heard honking loudly. A worker at the sanctuary investigated, and saw a wild Canada goose being pushed along by my tame couple. It had been badly injured by fishing-line. Not only did my two tame geese get help for their friend in need, but they then waited nearby until they saw him again: staying for two days outside the barn in which the injured goose was recovering."

(related by Diane Smitherman of Wildlife Rescue)


 A Brief History

Canada geese were first introduced to Britain in 1665 as an addition to the waterfowl collection of King Charles II at St. James’ Park.

Numbers remained low until the 1950s when they started to increase significantly. The 1991 census recorded 63,581 Canada geese in the U.K.

However, evidence now suggests that the population in urban areas is now levelling out due to competition for nesting sites.

Canada geese on lake


In the 1990s, the Royal Parks Agency admitted that they killed hundreds of Canada geese in Hyde Park and other Royal Parks.

Despite protests, they maintain the right to kill these birds whenever they want - without any attempt to consult the public before doing so.

Wandsworth Council also carried out a mass slaughter of Canada geese in the 1990s - again without public consultation.

Fearing public outcry, other landowners too have carried out secret culls of Canada geese in public places up and down the country - often acting illegally in the process.


Despite calling itself the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the RSPB condones the killing of Canada and greylag geese on its land. Birds it considers "pest species", such as gulls, crows and magpies, are also killed regularly. And a wide-spread cull of ruddy ducks was recently endorsed by the RSPB.

If you are a member, or considering becoming a member of the RSPB, ask them why a society set up to PROTECT birds is KILLING them, when other landowners are using humane measures to limit the numbers of so-called "pest species".

Another true story

"If you check my webpage, you will see a photo of a woman and goose napping together. That is Dirty Bird and myself. That goose has changed my whole life. He was hauled up onto my lawn by a dog 3 years ago. Since then I have become a wildlife rehabber, and together the goose and I have raised and released three healthy goslings back into the wild. Dirty Bird developed a severe spinal deformity secondary to the dog attack and is unable to fly very far or float upright in deep water, but if you look at his face, you'll see he doesn't care much. I am not advocating making these birds pets although it would not be difficult. But they do have traits with which humans can identify. They have better marital records than most of us and killing tears family groups apart. As you can see from the photo they are quite capable of affection even to the point of tenderness. They also are loyal and will defend their own. Dirty Bird was in a carrier (with top off) when one of my children playfully smacked me on the rear. DB went ballistic, flapping his wings, honking, and hissing. He would have come out of the carrier and attacked my daughter if I hadn't gone over and told him it was OK. Having been given a very unusual view into the life of a Canada goose, I believe that any person who has an opportunity to understand them will not be an advocate for their extermination."

- related by Diane Scharle (Holly Springs, USA)