Canada Goose

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Canada Goose: for more photos, see Sitka Nature Photo Gallery for Branta canadensis
Locale   Sp     Su     F     W     Br  
SE Alaska (edit) C FC C FC Y
Yakutat (edit) C C C U  ?
Skagway (edit) R - R - -
Haines (edit) C U C U Y
Glacier Bay (edit) C FC C C Y
Juneau (edit) C U C C VR
Sitka (edit) FC U FC U Y
Stikine (edit)
S Outer Islands (edit)
Ketchikan (edit) C U FC FC U
Offshore (edit)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis):

Local Notes

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|Summary=Fairly Common Spring and Fall migrant along the road system, mostly seen flying over in large flocks of 100 to several hundred birds. Occasional in Summer and Rare in Winter along the road system. More common away from town. Probably a regular breeder in the area, though only occasionally along the road system. |occurence plot=20070910-canada goose.png |nonbreeding habitat=Lake, Estuary |breeding habitat=Lakeshore, |spring=Fairly Common |summer=Uncommon |fall=Fairly Common |winter=Uncommon |breeding=Uncommon |best locations=Totem Park, Starrigavan, Port Krestof, |other locations=Totem Park, Starrigavan, SJC Quad, Port Krestof, Blue Lake, Bear Cove, Medvejie Lake, Fish Bay |webster=Common migrant and resident. Based only on collected, carefully identified specimens, (cf. Delacour 1951 and Gabrielson and Lincoln 1959) the race B. c. fulva nests locally and remains throughout the year (Willett 1914); B. c. minima migrates through in numbers (Webster 1941). Probably other subspecies, also, occur as migrants. The species was recorded on 19 of the 28 Christmas counts. |ward=Old-timers sometimes called these geese the ‘home guard’ and noted that many of the bays in the Sitka area that stayed open in winter would have a small flock of Canada Geese that remained there for the winter, unless really bad weather pushed them out. }} With the recent split of Cackling Goose from Canada Goose, there is some uncertainty regarding the occurrence and abundance of this species, though it seems likely the majority of past reports have probably been of the subspecies still considered Canada Goose, rather than those now called Cackling Goose.

Canada Geese migrate over Sitka in large numbers. They are sometimes seen on the ground around town, though reports are usually not frequent and only for small numbers (relative to the large flocks seen flying in migration). It is expected that this species may be found on the ground more often and in greater abundance in Sitka area locations that are not on the road system. Canada Goose has frequently been seen on the Christmas Bird Count, though many of those observations probably took place in one of the off-road system bays that are part of the count circle.

Canada Geese are known to breed in the area, and pre-flight young have been observed on at least one occasion along the road system. I am not certain how frequently nesting occurs in the general area, however.