Canadian geese are a wondrous animal, characterized by their elegant brown-gray color and appearance.
They are not an uncommon sight by any means, common all over the North American continent.
Though we know of many bird species where the male and female are distinctively different from one another, these birds are not one of them.
The male and the female are almost entirely identical and it takes a keen eye and some nuanced bird knowledge (which we are going to give you in just a second now!) to spot the subtle but present differences.
So without further ado, let us get into the differences between male and female Canadian geese.
Male vs Female Canada Goose Differences: A Basic Overview
|Basis||Male Canada Geese||Female Canada Geese|
|Size||30 – 43 inches||30 – 43 inches|
|Weight||7 – 14 pounds||5.5 – 12 pounds|
|Origin||Arctic and temperate regions of North America||Arctic and temperate regions of North America|
|Lifespan||10 – 24 years||10 – 24 years|
|Sound/Calls||Described as a slower, lower-toned “hoink”||Described as a higher-pitched, faster “hrink”|
|Plumage Color||Brownish-gray plumage.||Brownish gray plumage|
|Overall Size||10 percent larger than females||Slightly smaller than their male counterparts.|
|Neck & Tail||Longer and thicker necks. Rounded tail feather.||Shorter and slimmer necks.Pointed tail feather.|
|Behavior||More aggressive than females. Tend to chase humans and other birds away.||More docile than males.|
Male vs Female Canada Goose: Appearance
Endemic to the arctic and temperate regions of North America, Canadian geese are famously migratory birds that migrate from North America to Northern Europe, across the Atlantic Ocean.
Though appearance is not the easiest way to tell if what you have got on hand is a male or female, size and slight shape differences will help determine the gender of your flying buddy.
Male Canadian geese have primarily brownish gray plumage that ranges from light streaky gray all the way to deep brown in shade.
Their back feathers sport a dark brown or a black and white shade range. They have generally black-colored necks and heads, and their heads are generally considered to be larger than the average size.
They have an almost bulbous-shaped beak that is grayish in color as well.
They have an infamous chinstrap – a patch of white in the chin area that breaks through the black head and neck. They have chevron-patterned breast feathers and chocolate-colored tail feathers.
The female Canadian geese are also almost identical in appearance with a similar light body to dark head and neck ratio as males.
They also have a similar white patch that intersects their dark upper half. The main visual difference between males and females, in fact, is their size.
You might not catch it at first, but if you saw a couple together, you would definitely be able to see that one is just slightly larger than the other – a meager 10 percent!
The females are generally smaller than the males and also have a more slender neck as opposed to the girthy neck of the males.
Another distinguishing factor between the two is the way that their tail feathers sit. Males tend to have a much curvier and rounded end to their tail feathers while in females, these feathers taper to a much pointier end.
There are color variations within species, but it is virtually indiscernible.
The color of female geeses’ beaks, for instance, tends to be a lot darker, becoming almost black at the tip as opposed to the light gray shade of the male.
Female vs Male Canadian Goose: Behavior
Another difference that is maybe a little more obvious if you have the eye for it, is their behavior.
Female Canadian geese are known to be much less territorial and thereby less aggressive than males.
Females are known to be much tamer and docile in general, rarely resorting to pushing humans and animals away while males have been observed to do so on several occasions.
Female vs. Male Canadian Geese: Speech And Vocalisations
Once they open their mouth, maybe you notice a little difference in their vocalizations, especially if you have a musical ear.
Male Canadian geese have a much more pronounced and slower sound that is lower in pitch than the females.
It is the typical sound we associate with geese – a deep, throaty “hoink”!
The female Canadian geese, on the other hand, vocalize at a higher pitch with a faster “hrink”!
The difference might seem not noticeable but we assure you, give it a second or two and you’ll recognize the differences soon enough.
Female vs. Male Canadian Geese: Domestication Status
Although these geese might look like your typical farming creatures, they are certainly not to be kept in cages or coops.
They are one of the most famously migratory birds because it is so embedded within them and so will certainly try to escape if you try and keep them captured.
Not only that though, but they also are not the cuddly creatures their appearance makes them out to be.
They can get pretty aggressive and very hard to manage in general.
In fact, based on where you are, it might even be illegal to keep them as pets – a measure was taken by the government to keep the birds safe from domestication. So no, definitely do not keep them as pets!
So the next time you see these gorgeously gray birds tittering about, try and see if you can use our tips and figure out if it is a male or female.
Make sure you don’t get too close, or else they might drive you away with their pecks! We hope you had a fun ride learning with us today.
Thank you for reading!
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