The Taverner's Goose is also known as the Taverner's Cackling Goose or Alaska Goose and is a sub-species of the Cackling Goose. The Cackling Goose was for long considered to be a small race of the Canada Goose. The smallest four out of the eleven recognized races were recently determined to be distinct enough to form their own species and the Taverner's Goose falls under this new classification. Taverner's Geese are medium to small-sized geese that exhibit variations between light and darker colors. It has a black head, a triangular small bill, a long black neck and a white chinstrap. Its breast feathers are light tan to brown in color and it has a brown back with a white under tail. Taverner's Geese are generally darker than other Cackling Geese. Both the male and the female have a similar appearance with a body length between 21.7-29.5in/55-75cm and a weight between 33.5-105.3oz/950-3000g. Juveniles have a similar appearance to the adults.
Taverner's Geese breed in coastal marshes, along the tundra ponds and streams, and steep turf slopes over the rocky shores. This goose species is native to North America. It breeds in northern Canada regions and Alaska in a variety of tundra habitats. It mainly winters in Washington and Oregon, and is rarely seen east of the Rockies.
Taverner's Geese are primarily herbivores feeding mainly on vegetation and grains. When feeding in water, their head and necks are submerged in order to reach for aquatic plants. Sometimes they tip forward like dabbling ducks. These birds are known to feed on leftover cultivated grains in fields, mostly during migration or in winter. They occasionally eat some insects, molluscs and crustaceans.
Taverner's Goose meat is dark in color and has a similar taste to that of roast beef. Goose meat has lots of fat especially between the skin and the meat but the meat itself is very lean.
Taverner's Geese are excellent swimmers, walkers, and fliers. They rest while standing on one or both legs and often sleep on water, forming rafts. Males get very aggressive in defending territories. They are monogamous and a pair may mate for a lifetime. They nest on slightly elevated sites but usually close to the water. Their nests are large open cups that are made of dry grasses, lichens, and mosses, lined with down and some of the birds feathers. The female lays 4-5 eggs, which she incubates while the males does the guarding. The goslings leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching, and by this time they are able to walk, swim, dive and feed. The parents are responsible for leading the brood to grazing areas but they do not feed them. Adult geese are often seen leading their goslings in a line with one parent at the front, and the other at the back of the 'parade'. The young fledge approximately 6-7 weeks after hatching and they leave the breeding areas with their parents and remains with them all through the first winter. Taverner's Geese calls are high-pitched yelps, similar to the honking made by Canada Geese, but slightly higher in pitch.
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