Canada goose

Canada Goose

©Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

Canada goose

Scientific name: Branta canadensis
The Canada goose is our most familiar goose, although it is not actually native to the UK. A common and bold bird, it can be found around most parks, lakes, reservoirs and gravel pits.

Species information


Length: 55-100cm
Wingspan: 1.6m
Weight: 4.6kg
Average lifespan: 6 years

Conservation status

Introduced, non-native species. Common. Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

When to see

January to December


The Canada goose is our largest goose and maybe our most familiar. They are a common bird across most of the country, nesting on park lakes, flooded gravel pits and reservoirs. Canada geese are not native to this country, having been introduced from North America about 300 years ago. After the Second World War, they spread across the UK, becoming pests in some areas because they congregate in large numbers and can cause damage.

How to identify

The Canada goose is a large goose, with a black neck and head, grey-brown back and white cheek patches.


Found almost throughout the country, except in the north of Scotland.

Did you know?

Canada geese were first introduced to the UK in St. James's Park, London, in the 17th century. Today, the population numbers 62,000 breeding pairs.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work with pest controllers to find the most wildlife-friendly solutions to some of our everyday problems. You can help by avoiding feeding these birds at local parks and rivers.