North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Canada Goose

Scientific Name: Branta canadensis
Classification: Game Species
Abundance: Common throughout state


(Photo: Mark Buckler)

Species Profile (pdf)

Coexisting With Canada Geese (pdf)

          
 

Additional Information

With its characteristic “honk”, widespread breeding distribution and ability to adapt to suburban environments, the Canada goose is likely the most recognized waterfowl species in North Carolina. Although similar in appearance, Canada geese can be divided into 11 subspecies partially based on body size, subtle differences in coloration and breeding distribution. Although most sub-species or populations are migratory in nature, populations of non-migratory Canada geese have been increasing in North Carolina and elsewhere over the last 20 years.

Adult Canada geese found in North Carolina typically average about 10 pounds and between  2 ½ and 3 feet in length. Males, also called ganders, are larger than females. Although the various subspecies differ in some ways, all have similar characteristics: a black bill, black legs and black feet; black head and neck, with a white cheek patch that usually covers the throat; back, wings, sides and breast are various shades of gray and brown; white belly, flank and undertail coverts. Black tail and rump are separated by a white V-bar formed by the white uppertail coverts. Canada geese are easily distinguished by their “honking” call and appropriately nicknamed “honkers” by many people.

To learn more about the Canada Goose, view the species profile and click on the other tabs on this page.

 

Species

2018-19
Season
Dates

2018-19
Regulations

 

Additional Information

Waterfowl - General

(includes ducks, geese, swans and youth waterfowl days)
Seasons / Limits

Youth Waterfowl Day(s)

Extended Falconry Seasons
 
Migratory Game Bird Regulations

 
Additional Info (including license requirements, non-toxic shot requirements, baiting information and various reports)
Canada Goose Seasons / Limits

 

Migratory Birds Regulations
 

NE Goose Hunt Zone Permits (PDF)

Additional Info (including license requirements, non-toxic shot requirements, baiting information and various reports)
 Light Goose Seasons / Limits Migratory Game Bird Regulations
 
 Light Goose Conservation Season Permit Information
Tundra Swan
 
Seasons / Limits
 
Migratory Game Bird Regulations
 
Tundra Swan Permit information (PDF)

Additional Info (including license requirements, non-toxic shot requirements, baiting information and various reports)
 

Please report all bands online at  www.reportband.gov

Please be aware that starting July, 2017, the toll-free telephone number that had previously been available to report bird bands is being discontinued.  This discontinuation is collectively due to past problems with accurate data recording, high rates of dropped calls and budget cuts.  People calling this toll-free number will be directed to report their bird bands using the REPORTBAND website or by mail.  We rely heavily on your cooperation in reporting banded birds to help in their management, and we would like to thank you for your continued support in this effort.