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Canada Geese Defend Their Territory

Look out for these birds when they're on their nest!

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 scientists have named the "snore" call. When the interlopers finally begin their retreat, the resident pair follows closely, fanning the water with their wings. It's a long day for nesting geese!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Canada Geese Defend their Territory

Written by Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote!
[Dawn Song recorded at Earth Sanctuary]
Return to spring for a moment where it’s dawn at the edge of a pond. A pair of Mallards glides across the smooth water. Mist rises in the cool air. Small birds begin to sing, asserting their territories and advertising for mates. 
  [Dawn Song recorded at Earth Sanctuary]
A pair of Canada Geese keeps a watchful eye from hummocks across the pond where they’re nesting.
Suddenly, another pair of geese flies in, looking for a site to call theirs. [Begin cacophony of geese calls G1T19] Though they land at a distance, the first pair is in no mood for interlopers. With necks outstretched, they charge the newcomers. [Threat calls, braying]  Usually sociable, Canada Geese are highly territorial during the breeding season. The four face off, waving their heads from side to side, up and down, all the while accelerating the clamor.  Amidst the honking you can hear a sound that scientists have named the “snore” call.
[G2T1 Canada Geese honking]
After several minutes the interlopers begin their retreat, though the resident pair follows closely, fanning the water with their wings.
[The foursome continued]
Then comes another pair. 
[Canada Geese, continued honking]
Looks like a long day ahead for the geese that got there first…
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
                        ###
[Dawn Song recorded at Earth Sanctuary 4-26-11]
Spring dawn song recorded 4/26/11 at Earth Sanctuary, Whidbey Island, WA by C. Peterson.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2011 Tune In to Nature.org     June 2011   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# CAGO-03-2011-06-24

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