How does Branta canadensis reproduce?
In order to find a mate, males will fight over females with
their honking, bills, and wings. The winner will approach the
female with its head lowered and make hissing noises. Canadian geese are loners during breeding season instead of
being in their usual flock. An interesting fact is that these geese
are monogamous throughout their life, even in captivity. If
their mate dies, they take on another; however, if they are
forced to breed with another mate their offspring are often sterile.
Reproduction occurs in spring on water. Canadian geese are some of the earliest nesters of all birds. They will begin to nest as soon as the ice melts. Females will either be completely or partially submerged in the water. After, geese will lay a clutch of four to eight eggs annually. Females make the nests using weeds, twigs, grass, moss, and needles, and line the nest with down feathers for extra warmth. Females incubate the nest, and the male stands guard a few feet away. They protect the nest and defend it if need be. They bat their wings at intruders.
Reproduction occurs after the geese are mature which is at three years old. Incubation generally lasts 23 to 30 days during which the females turn the eggs over so that the goslings can be well developed. Canadian geese nest in the same area every year. They like to have the same vegetative cover and nest foundation as they had when they were born. The sex ratio when born is generally 1:1. After birth, the parents and hatchlings begin to travel and seek shelter. The goslings stay with their parents for one year. During this time, they migrate and then return to the same area where they were born.
Nest failure can occur because of three main reasons: desertion, destruction by predators, and destruction by natural agents. Desertion can be the result of many different reasons. Harassment by predators, human activity, and stressful weather are some the reasons why geese might desert their nests.