As it began to hail, Marlon Inniss saw several Canada Geese doing something odd. Rather than trying to shield their heads, the geese pointed their bills skyward, directly into the path of the hail. The geese were pointing the smallest surface area of their sensitive bills, the narrow tip
Geese migrate north between February and April, making stopovers along the way to rest and eat. Most are bound for their breeding grounds in the far north. But we’ll hear them again soon, on their way back south in October. Click play and learn how to tell some North American species apart
It's the time of year that geese migrate south for the winter. Isn't it? So why are there so many geese still hanging around, setting up housekeeping on our parks and golf courses? Did they decide to forgo the long trip north? In the early 1900s, non-migratory geese were brought in by the
Waterfowl like this Muscovy duckling spend up to 30 days in the egg, so they’re able to walk, swim, and feed themselves as soon as they hatch. We call these chicks precocial. By contrast, the chicks of most songbirds spend less time maturing in the egg. They must continue to develop in the
A single Canada Goose has between 20 and 25 thousand feathers. Some are designed to help the bird fly or shed water. Many are the short, fluffy kind, the down that insulates the bird from the cold. Birds survive in sub-zero weather by fluffing their feathers, creating layers of air and
Autumn…and geese fly high overhead in V-formation. But what about that V-formation, angling outward through the sky? This phenomenon — a kind of synchronized, aerial tailgating — marks the flight of flocks of larger birds, like geese or pelicans. Most observers believe that each bird
On January 17, 2019, renowned American poet Mary Oliver passed away. She was known for her beautiful writing about the natural world. We spoke with poet Traci Brimhall about Oliver's passing and asked her to read the first poem she ever memorized, Wild Geese.
Although it was once considered a diminutive form of Canada Goose, genetic research has shown the Cackling Goose to be a separate species. Its small voice fits nicely its small size. Cacklers breed along the coast of Alaska and winter from Washington south to Mexico. Watch for both species
BirdNote writer Todd Peterson reflects on his friend, a hunter, from Nebraska. Todd’s friend, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, has lost the urge to hunt. He sits in the duck blind, but he does not shoot . . .
Usually sociable, Canada Geese are highly territorial during the breeding season. When faced with interlopers, nesting birds wave their heads from side to side and up and down, honking unceasingly, determined to drive the other birds off. Amidst the honking, you may hear a sound that
The author of a recent essay in The New York Times asks, "What good are geese, anyway?" He's referring to the rapidly growing population of non-migratory Canada Geese that have taken up residence in our parks and golf courses. The problem with non-migratory geese is that they have entered
Not only do Cackling Geese sound different, but they also look different from Canada Geese, and their DNA is different. The Cackling Goose was defined in 2004 as a species separate from the Canada Goose.