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Canada goose

What am I?

I am the largest non-native goose found in the UK.

Where do I come from?

I am a year-round resident of the UK, with migrant birds from northern Europe increasing my numbers in the winter.

A bit about me

As my name suggests, I originated in North America, and I was introduced to Britain in the 17th century as an ornamental bird for park and garden lakes. Since then, I have successfully established myself, with large populations across the UK; I am a common site in parks and on golf courses or almost any other large grassy area. I am quite tame and not very shy of humans, which enables me to live in urban as well as rural areas.

My most recognisable features are my large size and my long, black neck with the distinctive white “chinstrap”. You will often hear me in a honking flock as we fly overhead in a “V” formation.

I nest at the water’s edge on lakes and other freshwater bodies, and typically produce a brood of 5 or 6 goslings, aggressively defending my nest. My young can fly after around 9 weeks, but we will stay as a family until the following spring.

Local spotlight

I am extremely common in the Solent region, you can see me inland on lakes and park ponds and on the coast too using fields, marshes and lagoons.

Conservation status

I’m amber listed in the UK

My name might not be listed in the Solent’s Special Protection Areas but I am still definitely important for the coastal ecosystem and form part of the non-breeding waterbird assemblages which these regions are protected for.

Fun fact

I am a monogamous species. I usually find a mate at 2 years old and stay with them for the rest of my life – an average of about 24 years.