Geese are waterfowl of the Anatidae family. This group comprises the genera Anser (the grey geese), Branta (the black geese), and Chen (the white geese). Several other birds, mostly related to the shelducks, have “goose” as part of their name but are much more distantly related to the true geese.

Geese are large birds, most of whom are protected under law in many jurisdictions, with a special protected status in Europe. Millions of geese are harvested each year for their meat, feathers, and down.

Geese can be a common sight in many neighborhoods, and the interesting thing is that they are pretty harmless. However, there are a few things you should know about geese if you happen to encounter them. This post will cover everything from how to deter geese from your property to what to do if you get attacked by one. Read on to learn more!

Geese Appearance


Geese are easily recognizable as they have long necks and webbed feet. They are usually white or gray with black markings. Some species of a goose can get as big as six feet long!


Geese are found on every continent except for Antarctica. They prefer habitats near water, such as lakes, ponds, and rivers. Many goose species are migratory and travel long distances between their breeding and wintering grounds.

There are a few other places you might find geese. They like congregating in parks and golf courses near ponds and lakes. You might also see them in your backyard if you have a pond or body of water on your property. If you live in a rural area, you may even see them out in the fields or on the side of the road.

Goose Size

Geese come in a range of sizes, with the largest species, the Giant Goose, measuring up to 6.6 feet long and weighing up to 14 pounds. The smallest goose is the Lesser White-fronted Goose, which measures just over two feet long and weighs less than three pounds.

Goose Lifespan


The average lifespan of a goose is 10-12 years, but some geese have been known to live for 20 years or more in captivity.


Geese are social creatures, and they live in flocks year-round. In the wild, these flocks can number in the thousands. Geese are very protective of their young and will aggressively defend their nests. Geese will hiss, bite, and even chase away perceived threats.

Goose Diet: A Herbivorous Bird

Geese are herbivores, and their diet consists mostly of grasses, aquatic plants, and insects. In urban areas, they will also eat garbage and human food if available.

Goose Reproduction and Parenting

is a goose a bird

Geese mate for life and usually return to the same nesting site year after year. The female goose will lay a clutch of 4-6 eggs, which hatch after about 28 days. The goslings are born fully feathered and can swim and feed themselves just hours after birth.

Both sexes, male and female, help to care for the goslings, but the female does most of the incubating. The goslings stay with their parents until they are ready to mate, usually at 2-3 years of age.

Goose Migration

Many species of goose migrate long distances each year, which is seen as a sign of changing seasons. The journey can be as short as a few hundred miles or as long as several thousand miles. Some geese migrate alone, while others travel in flocks, called “gaggles.”

However, many populations of Canada geese do not migrate, instead, they live year-round in a single location. That’s because flocks set free in the United States had no parents to guide them to migrate.

Goose Predators

The main predators of geese are humans, although a few animals will also prey on them. These include foxes, coyotes, wolves, and eagles. Sometimes, even other birds will prey on young or injured geese.

Do Geese Attack People?

what are geese

Geese are generally not aggressive towards people, but they will attack if they feel threatened or if their territory is being invaded. If a goose attacks you, stay calm and walk away slowly. Do not run, as this will only trigger the goose’s natural chase instinct, and it will become more agitated. If the goose persists in attacking you, use pepper spray or throw something at it to deter it.

How Can I Deter Geese from My Property?

If you have problems with geese on your property, it is best to leave them alone. However, if they become a nuisance, you can do a few things to deter them. First, make sure that there is no food available for them to eat. This means keeping your lawn free of garbage and not feeding the birds.

You can also try using a decoy or scarecrow to make the geese think there is a predator in the area. Geese like to nest in long grass, so keeping your lawn short will make it less attractive to them. Finally, you can purchase a dog trained to chase away geese.

Geese are interesting creatures, and, for the most part, they are harmless. However, it is important to know their behavior and what to do if you encounter one. Following the tips in this post can avoid any problems with geese on your property.

Goose Facts

  • Geese are part of the bird family, including ducks, swans, and geese.
  • There are over 20 different species of goose.
  • Geese mate for life and can live for up to 20 years.
  • Geese are excellent swimmers and can fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
  • Some species of goose are endangered due to hunting and habitat loss.
  • If the goose partner dies, it will mourn its death, and in some cases, geese spend their lives alone without mating with other geese.
  • Geese raised for their meat, eggs, and other purposes are known as domestic geese.


  1. How Big Do Geese Get?

The size of a goose depends on the species, but they can range from 2.5 to 6 feet in length.

  1. Are Geese Dangerous?

Geese can be aggressive, especially when defending their young, but they are not typically dangerous to humans.

  1. How Fast Does The Goose Fly?

Geese can fly up to 60 miles per hour, usually in a V formation.

Final Thought

Geese are interesting creatures, and there is much to learn about them. We hope this post has helped you understand these birds a little better. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up For Newsletter!