7 Types Of Geese In Kentucky (Photo And ID Guide)

This guide will teach you what kinds of geese seen in Kentucky are, as well as when and where you’re most likely to see them, along with some interesting facts.

In Kentucky, seven of the thirteen goose species discovered across the United States have been spotted. Except for Canada Geese, who may be seen all year, they are predominantly visitors during the winter.

A gaggle is a group of geese. Yet, have you heard of geese being given such names as shien, wedge, and plump?

Or maybe their territorial behavior and loud honking have been employed for centuries to protect pets, people, and even countries!

In the United States, it is unlawful to harm geese, their eggs, or their nests without authorization from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service)

You may learn more about ducks in Kentucky or swans in Kentucky if you like seeing waterbirds in the state.

7 Types Of Geese In Kentucky:

1. Canada Goose

Kentucky is home to Canada geese, which may be seen throughout the year. For the state, they are seen on 19% of summer and 25% of winter bird watcher checklists.

The black head and instantly distinguishable white chin strap of the Canada Goose, often known as the Canadian goose, distinguishes it from other geese.

Canada Geese have the same black head and white chin strap as Cackling Geese, but their long, elegant neck and huge size set them apart.

Their chest is pale or tan, with a white rump and brown bodies. The bodies of the subspecies may be gray or brown in color. They have dark legs and webbed feet.

  • Branta canadensis
  • Length: 25 – 45 in (64 – 114 cm)
  • Weight: 230.09 oz (6521 g)
  • Wingspan: 70 – 75 in (178 – 190 cm)

Canada Geese are native to Canada and migrate to southern US states during the winter, but they remain in northern US states throughout the year and do not migrate. Western Europe is also home to these creatures.

Canada Geese may be found in almost every habitat. They prefer to live near lakes and rivers, generally in areas with a body of water and an rich food supply. They also live comfortably in city environments such as parks, reservoirs, golf courses, public parks, and beaches since they are used to humans.

Their population has expanded dramatically in several regions, and they are considered pests.

When on land, Canada Geese eat grasses, while in the water, they eat tiny aquatic insects and fish. While on agricultural fields, they also eat wheat, rice, and corn. They’re used to snatching scraps from humans or digging through trash bins.

Canada Goose nests are often found in elevated places near water. In a nest constructed with plant material and down, the female lays up to nine eggs. For about a month, she prepares the eggs and keeps the male nearby, protecting them.

Their parents take them to a meal source where they learn to feed themselves once they hatch. When parents sense danger or threats to their family, they become extremely territorial and violent.

Fun Fact: Adults lose their flight feathers during the breeding season, which coincides with the molting season of young birds. Just in time for them to fly with their young, they only regrow their feathers after twenty to forty days.

2. Snow Goose

During the winter of October through April, Snow Geese may be found in Kentucky on 2% of winter checklists.

Except for its black wingtips, pink beak, and pink legs and foots, the Snow Goose is appropriately named because it is completely white.

The Blue Goose, which has a white head and a dark blue-gray body, is another variation of this species. Due to their feeding, both forms of Snow Geese may have a “stained” head on occasion.

Both varieties have similar sexes, although they may be of different sizes. Males have a bigger size than females.

Dusky gray-brown is the color of juvenile white morphs, while dark gray is the color of juvenile blue morphs. The familiar pink beak and black grin patch are still present on both of them.

  • Anser caerulescens
  • Length: 25 – 31 in (64 – 79 cm)
  • Weight: 81.13 oz (2299 g)
  • Wingspan: 54.3 in (138 cm)

Snow Geese spend the winter in the United States, where they breed.

In freshwater marshes and agricultural grain fields, you may find Snow Geese and Blue Geese together. They prefer salt marshes and coastal coves in the winter, but they will still visit plowed fields or wetlands.

In freshwater marshes and agricultural grain fields, you may see both Snow Geese and Blue Geese. They prefer salty marshes and coastal coves during the winter, but will visit plowed fields or wetlands if necessary.

Snow geese are omnivores that eat a lot of plants. Water-logged soil or shallow water is often fed to them. Plant vegetation, such as grasses, sedges, willows, rushes, and horsetails are their favorite diet. Seeds, grains, and plants ripped up by their roots will also be devoured.

Snow Goose colonies on tundra are usually large and nest in large colonies. Since females return to the location where they hatched to breed, they build a nest, which is generally a shallow depression on the ground that may be reused many times.

She lines the nest with grasses and down after she has laid the first three to five eggs. The goslings take around twenty-four days to hatch, and they are able to self-foster after that.

3. Greater White-fronted Goose

From October through May, Greater White-fronted Geese may be found in Kentucky, accounting for 1% of checklists at this time.

White-fronted Goose in Europe and Greater Whitefront in North America are the common names for this species.

Greater White-fronted Geese look similar, and both sexes are rather large geese.

They are frequently mistaken with the Graylag Goose because their barred feathers are mostly gray all-over. The “white front,” or the white feathers that surround the base of its orange beak, is what distinguishes them. On their underparts, they have black flecks.

  • Anser albifrons
  • Length: 26 – 34 in (66 -86 cm)
  • Weight: 126.98 oz (3599 g)
  • Wingspan: 53 – 60 in (135 – 152 cm)

Greater White-fronted Geese breed in Canada and spend the winter in the United States and Mexico, primarily in North America. They can, however, be found across Europe and East Asia.

In the west of northern Canada, Greater White-fronted Geese breed, and during the winter, they spend time in the West Coast of the United States, The Gulf Coast, and Mexico.

During the breeding season, Greater White-fronted Geese may be found in marshy tundra, wetlands, rivers, and ponds. They shelter in agricultural lands, marshes, bays, and lakes throughout the winter.

Greater White-fronted Geese graze on both land and water. Crop seeds and grains from agricultural fields are among the foods they consume. Grasses and berries are also consumed by them. They feed on aquatic insects and mollusks while swimming near water.

In shallow depressions in the tundra, nests of Greater White-fronted Geese may be found. They normally have three to six eggs and are lined with grass and down. For two to three weeks, the female sits on them.

Fun Fact: Long-term family connections exist among Greater White-fronted Geese. The youngsters remain with their parents until the following breeding season, even migrating together with their offspring.

4. Ross’s Goose

In Kentucky, Ross’ geese are not particularly prevalent, but they are well-known and can frequently be seen in the winter.

Ross’ and Snow’s Geese are frequently found together. Except for their short, gray-based red-orange beaks, pink-red legs, and feet, and black wingtips, they are completely white throughout. The female is somewhat smaller than the male.

Ross’ Goose has a dark phase variant, however it is extremely uncommon. Its head is white, with a brownish beak and a crimson patch on the beak. Its underbelly, underwings, and back are all dark gray.

  • Anser rossii
  • Length: 21 – 26 in (53 – 66 cm)
  • Weight: 59.2 oz (1678 g)
  • Wingspan: 47 – 54 in (119 – 137 cm)

Ross’ Geese live in the United States during the winter and raise their gosling in northern Canada.

During the winter, you may find Ross’s Geese in both salt and freshwater marshes. They’ll breed on the arctic tundra throughout the breeding season.

Ross’ geese are grazers that forage from wetlands, meadows, and fields, and they feed on grass, sedges, and minor grains.

In colonies on lake islands and arctic tundra, Ross’ Geese nests are found. Females use grasses, moss, leaves, and twigs to line their nests on the ground, which are built with down. Each breeding female produces four to five eggs and incubates them for three weeks.

Fun Fact: The little geese of North America are dubbed Ross’ Geese.

5. Cackling Goose

During the winter, Cackling Geese are frequently seen in Kentucky, although they are not particularly common.

Canada Geese look a lot like Cackling Geese, which are found in North America. They were established as a separate species in 2004, after being included with the Canada Goose family.

The head and neck of Cackling Geese are black, with a white chinstrap patch. Their bills are triangular and short. They have white on the outside and are light brown or tan in color.

Cackling Geese, on the other hand, have stubbier bills, steeper foreheads, and shorter necks than Canada Geese.

The white chinstrap subspecies is one of four subspecies with black heads and necks, each of which varies in size or color.

  • Branta hutchinsii
  • Length: 22 – 30 in (56 – 76 cm)
  • Weight: 105.9 oz (3001 g)
  • Wingspan: 43 – 47 in (109 – 119 cm)

Cackling Geese migrate to the United States for the winter after breeding in Canada and Alaska.

Cackling Geese may be found in wetlands and meadows all year. In the winter, they often join flocks and swim in lakes, marshes, and fields, but in the summer, they prefer to stay on the tundra.

Cackling Geese feed on sedges and berries while grazing in open areas. In agricultural areas, they will also consume wheat, barley, beans, rice, and corn. They eat aquatic plants in the water.

Cackling Goose nests may be found individually or in groups. They’re generally found near the water, in a shallow depression but on higher ground. Females make nests out of plant material and down. She will incubate up to eight eggs for around a month in this nest.

Fun Fact: Cackling Geese are easily recognized from Canada Geese because of their unique “cackling” voice or high-pitched call.

6. Egyptian Goose

In Kentucky, Egyptian Geese are extremely uncommon, however recent sightings near Brannon Woods and Basil Griffin Park have been documented.

While zoos and aviaries are the most common habitats for Egyptian Geese, they have grown in number and spread to some countries.

Egyptian Geese have very distinct features, which make them easily identifiable. Their golden-yellow or orange eyes have a brown patch around them. Their heads are whitish-gray with some reddish tints at the nape, and their bills are pink on top and black on the bottom.

Egyptian geese have several features that set them apart from other species. Their brown patch surrounds their golden-yellow or orange eyes. Their bills are pink on top and black on the bottom, and their heads are whitish-gray with some reddish hues at the nape.

Their collar is reddish-brown. Their backs and wings are a blend of white, green, brown, and black, while their breasts are tan and their bellies are white with gray linings. Pink legs and feet can be found on them.

The head and nape of juveniles are darker reddish-brown. Their bellies are usually light brown or tan. Dark brown is their back and wings.

  • Alopochen aegyptiaca
  • Length: 24 – 29 in (61 – 74 cm)
  • Weight: 70 – 77.5 oz (1984 – 2196 g)
  • Wingspan: 52 – 60 in (132 – 152 cm)

Egyptian Geese have populations in Europe and North America, despite their African origin.

Egyptian Goose may be found in open water, wetlands, and non-forested locations. Zoos and aviaries are also common places to keep them.

Seeds, leaves, grasses, and plant stems are all favorite foods of Egyptian Geese. Algae and water plants, as well as insects and tiny creatures, will be eaten by them.

Egyptian goose nests may be discovered on the ground, in tree hollows, caves, and other creatures’ nests. The nests, which contain up to twenty-two eggs and take around a month to hatch, are mostly made of grasses, leaves, and down.

The young must learn how to feed themselves since parents will take care of them.

Fun Fact: Ancient Egypt revered the Egyptian Goose, which appears in a lot of their paintings.

7. Brant

In Kentucky, Brant Geese are an accidental species. They were last seen in Pulaski in 2005, and they’re very uncommon in the state.

A small goose with a black head, neck, and chest, a white collar or mark on the neck, and a white rump. The Brant Goose is a little goose. There are, however, several sub-species with varying degrees of black or cream coloration.

  • Branta bernicla
  • Length: 22 – 26 in (56 – 66 cm)
  • Weight: 63.84 oz (1809 g)
  • Wingspan: 43 – 48 in (109 – 122 cm)

Before moving to coastal regions of the United States and Mexico, Brant Geese breed in Canada and Alaska. In addition, they reside all throughout Europe.

During the breeding season, you may sight Brant Geese in tundra, marshes, islands, and coastal regions. Salt marshes, lagoons, mudflats, and tidal estuaries are all used by them during the winter.

On land and in water, Brant geese eat mostly plant material. Eelgrass is their preferred choice, but they’ll eat any grass. Sedges, pondweed, and aquatic insects are also among the foods they eat.

The female lays seven eggs that take three to four weeks to hatch. The parents transport the eggs to the feeding area so that the young can feed themselves after they hatch.

Fun Fact: Brant geese can survive up to 28 years in the wild.

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