Canada Geese Mating

Making a lot of splashing noise, I started watching and photographing a pair of Canada Geese.

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Canada Geese splashing


The splashing was a sign of mating.

And, sure enough, there was a heated moment.

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Canada Geese mating


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Canada Geese mating


And just as quick, it was over.

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“Happy Ending”


Canada Geese mate for life and remain together year-round.Β  What a beautiful commitment!



42 thoughts on “Canada Geese Mating

  1. Great captures Donna! The Canada Geese are good breeders, that’s why there are too many of them, and they are spreading like flies to other parts of the world and aggressive to native wildlife where they take over their habitat.

    • Thank you, Ashley! Our Chesapeake Bay region is a huge migratory winter location for Canada Geese, especially Maryland’s Eastern Shore where we live, with all the wide open farms, marshes, and wetlands. For years we have had regulated hunting laws to help assist in controlling their population. Recently, Maryland Dept of Natural Resources released the following statement on the upcoming restrictive 2019-20 Canada Goose hunting season due to lower populations:

      “The US Fish & Wildlife Service uses an AP Canada goose harvest strategy, developed by the Atlantic Flyway Council, to set season and bag limits for the flyway states. This harvest strategy utilizes a 3-year average of the estimated number of breeding pairs of geese to determine the hunting season recommendation. Breeding pair estimates are calculated from the results of aerial surveys that are flown every June throughout the primary nesting grounds along the Hudson Bay and Ungava Bay coasts of northern Quebec, Canada. After a long (15 year) period of relative stability and ‘moderate’ hunt packages, the breeding pair estimates have declined in recent years resulting in a ‘restrictive’ hunt package recommendation for the 2019-20 season.

      “While the 3-year breeding pair average (155,000) was slightly above the Harvest Plan threshold for a restrictive season (150,000), a strong downward trend in the number of breeding pairs coupled with extremely poor reproduction in summer 2018 (due to a very late spring thaw) caused Atlantic Flyway biologists and Council to preemptively recommend a restrictive hunting season for 2019-20. It is worth noting that in seven out of the last ten years, AP Canada goose reproduction has been below average. While this below average reproduction is due to late spring thaws on the nesting grounds, a restrictive hunting season protects breeding adults that are key to population recovery.”

      I was surprised to read we’re more at a low than a high for Canada Geese. Seems like we see them everywhere all winter long. 😲

  2. It is really amazing to watch – just like the swans. I actually got video of it one year. Couldn’t believe I had looked out my window at just the right time – and had a camera on hand. I think we are both so lucky with our views of wildlife out our windows — and maybe we are just a little bit obsessed — ha! Great pictures, Donna!

    • Thank you, Susan! Obsession……nawwww…… πŸ˜‰
      We are spoiled for sure! As many birds as I’ve seen mating, this was the first time with Canada Geese, not sure how I missed not seeing them before, as many as we have.

  3. I always learn something new when I visit your blog. Thank you! I didn’t know they were together for life. Just like the doves😊. Beautiful photosβ˜€οΈπŸ’šβ˜€οΈ

  4. I haven’t seen them before like that.. you captured great moments of their fun. Thank you dear Donna, Love, nia

    • Thank you, Hien! This was my first time seeing them mate, I was surprised afterwards, thinking why’s it been all these years and I’ve missed them in the act before, lol. At least they were quiet doing the deed and not loud like they fight! πŸ˜‰

  5. Wow! How exciting! I have seen fights too, but never mating. Great photos! Given the timing of their mating season (February-April) your capture is even more amazing. Have you read Bernd Heinrich’s wonderful book Canada Geese he was observing: The Geese of Beaver Bog?

    • Thank you, Lisa! I should have mentioned these were actually taken a month or two back, and I finally got a chance to post them. The Osprey are keeping me busy, lol. No I haven’t read it, I’ll check it out, thanks!

  6. Nice piece of voyeuristic reporting, Donna. πŸ™‚
    June seems a little late to me, too. Do Canada Geese typically have several clutches per year? Maybe I am not paying close attention, but I usually see ducklings only in the spring and early summer.

    • Thank you, Tanja. πŸ˜‰ I’m a bit behind on comments, I should have mentioned in my post I took the mating ritual a couple months ago, just getting chance to post, keeping a ‘mix’ of birds. So this pair should already be proud parents I bet! πŸ™‚ Oh, they usually only have one brood a year, but I have read of unusual second broods have occurred.

  7. Very nice Donna! They are very loud in a lot of what they do! Did not know they mate for life. They are also very aggressive if you wander by a nest unintentionally! They seem to go for your head! And with that large a bird I can say it did hurt quite a lot!

  8. That drowning thing with anatidae & similar worries me, though. I suppose that’s where the word β€˜ducking’ comes from… head immersion during duck sex?

  9. I always think they are “bragging” at the end . All the times I have seen geese I have only captured the actual mating twice, although have seen lots of the prelude splashing. Good photos, Donna!

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