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Photo by Tom Grey

Bird of the Month

Become a bird expert! Every month we feature a different bird species of the San Francisco Bay Area. You can learn how to identify local birds and find out fun facts about our amazing feathered friends. Click on the pictures at the bottom of the page to learn about birds from previous months, and check back each month to see the latest species of interest!

Canada Goose


Name: Canada Goose


Size: 30-43 inches


Wingspan: 50-67 inches


Diet: This bird is an herbivore and eats grasses, sedges, grains, and berries.


Behavior: The Canada Goose often grazes in large groups and gives a loud honk as its call.


Habitat: This bird lives throughout North America and can be found in a wide variety of habitats from tundra to grassland to city parks. Locally, you can find these birds at many neighborhood parks or golf courses, particularly ones with ponds and grassy lawns.


Field Markings: Look for a large waterfowl with a long black neck, black head and bill marked by a white chin-strap, a brownish back, black tail and white rump. Male and female Canada Geese look alike.


Fun Facts: There are at least 11 different subspecies of Canada Geese.


Status: The Canada Goose population is strong. Large urban populations of Canada Geese may become nuisances.


Migratory Route: The Canada Goose migrates south for the winter and north for the breeding season, but some populations have become year-round residents, and no longer migrate. This species also makes a further northerly migration from breeding grounds for late-summer molting.


Credits: All About Birds Online Bird Guide. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. January12, 2007.

Morobray, T.B., C.R. Ely, J.S. Sedinger, and R.E.Trost. 2002. Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis). In The Birds of North America., No 682 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.) The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Previous Birds (click on a picture to find out the facts)
California Quail
American Coot
Great Blue Heron
Northern Shoveler
Burrowing Owl
Peregrine Falcon