Goose, Lesser Canada Goose
The Lesser Canada Goose is also known as Athabasca Canada Goose and is a subspecies of the Lesser Canada Goose Group. The Lesser Canada Goose has a variety of color variations, but this subspecies is commonly light gray or brown with a lighter colored breast. Some of its parts appear white but it actually has no features that are pure white. The overall coloring of the Lesser Canada Goose is lighter than the larger subspecies of Canada Goose. This Goose also has a white neck ring, which is more evident on the mature birds. It is hard to distinguish between the different subspecies of Canada Geese as most of the species share coloring and features; however, with careful scrutiny it is possible to distinguish between the subspecies. The Lesser Canada Goose's body is distinctively short and it has a relatively large bill, about 75% of the length of its head. The bill is also placed lower on the face compared to other species. It also appears to have a thin neck and short legs. The shape of the head is distinguishable as it's rounded and has no sharp angles. The Lesser Canada Goose weighs between 5 and 6 pounds.
Lesser Canada Geese are found anywhere near lakes, rivers, ponds, or other bodies of water. They can also be found in yards, park lawns, and farm fields. They are mainly found in the inlands of Western Canada and Central Alaska where they spend the springs through to the fall in these regions before moving to winter in the Western United States mainly Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. The Lesser Canada Goose is well adapted to human influence and their populations living in urban areas are expanding. In Anchorage, Alaska the birds have greatly multiplied to the point that the city has had to consider steps to control this population.
The Lesser Canada Geese feed on nutrient-rich grasses during the wet, mild winter. They also feed on other crops such as corn and other grains. They may also feed on pastures.
The Lesser Canada Goose meat is dark and has a similar taste to that of chicken but more fatty.
Lesser Canada Geese have a preference for open areas close to water bodies. They are often found in mixed flocks with Taverner's, Cacklers, and Duskys. The Lessers tend to fly higher compared to other subspecies and mostly fly in family groups. The Lesser Canada Geese find mates during the second year of their live. They are monogamous and most pairs mate for a lifetime unless one dies and leaves the other in which case the remaining one finds another mate. The female lays 3–8 eggs and both parents are responsible for protecting the nest while the female incubates the eggs for 24–28 days. Fledging occurs any time from 6 to 9 weeks of age. The goslings do not leave their parents until after the spring migration, when they get to return to their birthplace. In the breeding season, the adults tend to lose their flight feathers for 20–40 days, and they regain flight at about the same time when their goslings start to fly. Their main predators include bears, foxes, and other mammals, which prey on geese and their eggs. Lesser Canada Geese vocalizations consist of a series of various loud honks, barks, and cackles and some hisses.
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