Illustration from National Geographic's Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Branta canadensis hutchinsii
Subspecies of Canada Goose
May 5, 1805, above mouth of the Poplar River, Montana.
Brownish body with black head, long black neck, conspicuous white cheek patch. The smaller Brant has a shorter neck and lacks white cheek patch. Length: small races 22-26 in (56-66 cm); large races 35-45 in (89-114 cm).
Rich musical honking in larger races; high-pitched cackling in smaller races.
Lakes, bays, rivers, and marshes. Often feeds in open grasslands and stubble fields.
Breeds from Alaska east to Baffin Island and south to California, Illinois, and Massachusetts. Winters south to northern Mexico and Gulf Coast. Widespread as a semi-domesticated bird in city parks and on reservoirs.
Well known for their V-shaped migrating flocks and rich, sonorous honking, Canada geese are among the most familiar of North America's waterfowl.