Do Canada geese still fly south for winter? Yes, but it's complicated
North America’s growing suburbs are the perfect habitat for the bird, whose population is exploding.
Migrating Canada geese, in their iconic v-formations, can fly an astonishing 1,500 miles in just 24 hours. They can also waddle indefinitely around your local office park.
In recent years, more people across the United States and Canada have noticed the noisy black-and-white-headed birds taking up residence year-round on golf courses, lawns, and other green spaces. Have these geese, perhaps encouraged by milder winters and easy suburban living, simply stopped flying south? In many cases, yes—but the explanation is complicated.
In the classic migration pattern, flocks that wintered in the southern U.S. fly north in the spring, returning to the same spots in the high and sub-Arctic to breed and nest. In September and October, these flocks head south again—with a