Humans are not the only species to celebrate a season of love. By mid-February, Canada geese can be found breaking off from large migrating groups into pairs to claim a nesting territory.
A monogamous species, Canada geese typically choose one partner and bond for life, nesting with the same mate year after year. Or at least until death do they part.
Why Are Geese Monogamous?
Although we don’t know if animals, like geese, feel emotions like “love,” being monogamous has a lot of benefits for the species:
- Protection: In order to properly incubate her eggs and hatch healthy goslings, the female cannot leave the nest for the 25-28-day incubation period. This makes her vulnerable to predators and disruption. A paired mate is invested in her safety, and will defend both the female and eggs from real and perceived threats that include raccoons trying to eat their eggs and people trying to walk by.
- Gene Pool Success. With only one mate, a male goose can spend his time defending her from rival geese to ensure all the eggs she lays are his offspring. This helps ensure that his genes are carried into future generations.
- Raising Young. Geese are dedicated parents and will lead their goslings to the best places to grow. Both parents will defend their young fiercely.
- Claiming Territory. Territory is a hot commodity in the spring, with competition from not only other geese, but also other animals. Many different pairs are trying to find somewhere to build a nest. In general, a pair nests in the same general location every year, sometimes in exactly the same spot. If you know where you’re going and who you’re going with, you can stake your claim quickly. That gives you the advantage when defending your territory.
While everyone enjoys a good love story, goose couples can create a nuisance for people. Geese often nest in public places and are aggressive when protecting their nest or their young. When they feel threatened, they will attack people, pets, or their own reflections in windows. Geese also leave droppings that are an eyesore and a health hazard.
If Canada geese are creating health and safety risks on your property, Wild Goose Chase can help with safe, humane and biologist-led strategies, customized by season, by species and by property.
Our solutions for Canada geese nesting conflicts include canine deterrence and egg depredation.
To learn more about our biology-led solutions for resolving and preventing bird-related health, safety and property damage issues, give us a call or click on the link below.