Goose Facts Goose Facts Essential and Detailed Information About Canada Geese Life expectancy: about 20 years Weight: 20–25 pounds The average adult goose eats approximately 3 lbs. of grass per day (or 5 sq. ft. of turf each day) The average adult goose leaves approx. 1–3 lbs. of excrement each day. The Canada geese population grows about 19.5% each year. Migration is a learned process. Migratory geese flight range: 2,000–3,000 miles Resident geese flight range: 100–200 miles to find food, water, and safety. Resident geese can fly long distances as their migratory cousins but, generally, have learned that it is not necessary. Mating season: February to March Geese mate for life and will stay together during all seasons. Geese will find a new mate if the mate dies or is killed. Migratory geese nest in Canada. The geese nesting in the U.S. are "resident" geese. Resident geese were imported to the area for rebuilding dwindling numbers for conservation or hunting decades ago. The urban nuisance was not anticipated. Nesting season: Mid-March to mid-May Age of geese when they begin to nest: 3 years Geese return to the general area of their birth each year to mate and nest; sometimes the exact site, sometimes a nearby pond or another body of water. The instinct to return to their general area of birth is very strong. Migratory geese fly 2,000–3,000 miles to return to these sites. Resident geese do not know how to migrate. When geese are chased from their traditional nesting area, or the nesting area has too many nesting pairs, they find alternative sites to nest… sometimes farther from water, sometimes in nearby ponds, and sometimes on rooftops or balconies. They will hide their nests. Geese generally prefer isolated sites near water to nest. Islands are their favorite locations. Nests are usually on the ground in the open. Before incubation, eggs are usually buried in twigs, grass, or even found debris. Sometimes geese nest in brushy or swampy areas not subject to flooding. When egg-laying begins, the "father" goose will stand sentinel watch nearby, but not so close as to give away the location of the nest to a predator. When a solitary goose is seen during nesting season, a nest is surely somewhere in the vicinity. The eggs in a nest are called a "clutch." Average number of eggs in a nest: 5 The mother goose lays one egg approximately one day apart until the full clutch is obtained. Eggs not being incubated are cool to the touch. The mother goose waits until all eggs are laid before she begins to sit on the nest to incubate eggs. Incubation time: 28–30 days Undeveloped eggs (still fluid) will sink or float vertically with the wider portion of the egg pointing down. Developed eggs will float horizontally or at a slight angle and break the surface of the water. At that point, they are one to two weeks away from hatching. All geese eggs in a single clutch hatch on approximately the same day. Baby geese are called "goslings." Natural predators of geese are foxes, raccoons, owls, and snapping turtles. Goslings can fly approximately 2–3 months after hatching. During June, adult geese lose wing feathers and are unable to fly. This is called “molting.” Molting season runs from early June to late July. Geese can fly again approximately 6 weeks after molting. Generally, by early August, all geese (except injured ones) are able to fly. During the molt, geese need to be near water sources for an easy escape from predators. The molting area needs an easily accessible food supply.