CANADA GOOSE Branta canadensis

Wild Canada geese breed in Canada and Alaska in a number of subspecies, varying mainly in size and darkness of plumage. However, established feral populations occur in northern USA, north-west Europe and New Zealand. The are particularly numerous in the UK, a familiar sight on almost any body of water. Most UK birds are of the races canadensis or maxima but occasional birds are found of other races, the situation being further complicated by vagrancy from Canada. The best test of "wildness" seems to be the species they arrive with, and vagrants usually associate with other species, particularly on the northern isles. Most vagrants are parvipes or canadensis, but identifiable forms are Cackling Geese, which are now considered a different species. Birds illustrated are taken near Lake Erie, the centre one being a feral in Lincolnshire, but all are probably canadensis.

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