Southern to north-eastern California and throughout central western United States. Winters from Alaska, southern Canada to Mexico
Lakes, bays, marshes, prairies, grainfields; in summer also tundra
Gray-brown with a black head and neck and a light-colored breast. The most outstanding characteristic is the white patch running onto each side of the head. The bill and legs are black. The feet have 3 webbed toes pointing forward, a fourth toe points backward.
These geese are social birds but only mingle with their own kind. Mates are fiercely loyal to each other. The larger the family the greater their status in the flock. This goose constantly feeds while wintering in the south. When traveling, they fly in V-formation 3,000 or more feet in the air at a speed of 40 miles per hour. Migrating to the north, they return to the marshes where they were born. They are migrant throughout their range.
Breeding takes place on the water. The female lays 2 - 9 dull white eggs. Both birds do the incubating which takes 25 - 28 days. The hatchlings use an egg tooth to break through the shell. The parents stay close by after hatching to bond with their young.
|Weight:||8 - 12 pounds|
|Wild Diet:||Grasses, grains, especially young green shoots of plant life (Cornfields are favorites)|
|Predators:||Coyotes, predatory birds, large turtles, herons, man, and dogs|
|USFWS Status:||Not Listed|
|CITES Status:||Not Listed|