A Cackling Goose is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Cackling Geese. We have also put together a list of fun Cackling Goose t-shirts, Cackling Goose bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Cackling Geese
The white-cheeked geese of North America were long considered to make up just one highly variable species of geese in Canada. They were only recently recognized as comprising a distinct species. As their name suggests, Cackling Geese have higher-pitched voices than the familiar honking of their more famous counterparts-Canada Geese.
Description and Identification
As their name suggests, Cackling Geese produce a high-pitched cackling sound louder
than their other geese counterparts. As these birds closely resemble Canada Geese,
they can be mistaken for being them. Cackling Geese can be distinguished through
their smaller size and blackhead along with a white chinstrap that stretches from ear
to ear. Both sexes are similar in appearances, possessing particolored gray-brown
body, dark or black coloring on their head, face, neck, legs, and tail. Their bills are often
short and stubby as compared to other species of Geese. Certain members sport a
black chin-stripe which divides the cheek patches and or a white collar at the base of
their necks. They typically weigh between 4-7lbs with lengths of 24.8-25.6 inches. They
are strong filers, swimmers, and walkers. They tend to sleep on the water and rest on one
Cackling Goose Color Pattern
These birds are characterized by having a black head with a small and triangular bill, a long, black neck, white chinstrap, light tan-brown breast feathers, a brownish back, and a white undertail.
Cackling Goose Size
The relative size of both sexes is:
- Length 21.-29.5 in (55-75 cm)
- Weight 33.5-105.8 oz (950-3000g)
Cackling Goose Behavior
Forages mostly by grazing while walking on land; also feeds in water, submerging head and neck, sometimes up-ending. Feed-in flocks in most seasons. Cackling Geese are strong swimmers, walkers, and flyers; they rest standing on one or both legs and often sleep on water-forming rafts.
Cackling Goose Food
The diets of Cackling Geese are primarily vegetarian. They feed on grasses, berries,
seeds, sedges, aquatic plants, agricultural crops, etc. In summers, in order to gain fat,
their diet primarily switches to the consumption of seeds and berries, with sedge seeds being a favorite. In the winters their diet shifts to stems, grasses, and agricultural crops
which include the likes of barley, alfalfa, and winter wheat. The majority of their foraging is
carried out on land given that a large part of their diet is found on land. When they do
forage in water on aquatic plants, they tend to submerge their heads and neck
completely underwater in order to pull out the plants. These birds tend to forage in
Their diet consists almost entirely of plant material. They feed on a wide variety of plants. They eat stems and shoot of grasses, sedges, aquatic plants; consumes many cultivated grains, mainly waste grains left in farm fields.
Cackling Goose Habitat
Cackling Geese tend to inhabit subarctic and arctic regions in the North. In the summer
they inhabit the tundra, along with lakes, marshes, fields, and other smaller water
bodies during the winters. In Alaska, they can be found in the Aleutian Islands along with
barren lands in Canada. They winter on the Southern waters such as lakes and
marshes. The habitat of preference for Cackling Geese is the tundra.
Tundra in summer: – lakes, marshes, and fields in winter. They form nests on the tundra in western Alaska and north-central Canada, as well as barren uplands on the Aleutian Islands. They spend winter on southern lakes and marshes, often foraging in open prairies or farm fields.
Range and Migration
Cackling Geese are natives of North America, usually found in the majority of the United
States and in sub-arctic and arctic parts of Canada and Alaska. They have occasionally
been spotted in regions of western Europe along with natural occurrences in Japan,
eastern China, and the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia. As most species of geese,
Cackling Geese are migratory birds, often migrating long distances. Populations nesting
in Alaska migrate to California during the winters, whereas populations nesting in the
Canadian Arctic, fly towards the Southern Great Plains and the Western Gulf Coast.
Cackling Goose Life Cycle
- They usually lay approximately 4-6 eggs. Incubation is by females for 25-27 days, with males standing guard nearby.
- Parents lead young from 1-2 days after hatching and both parents tend to them. However, they find their own food from the start.
- They begin flying between 6-7 weeks.
- Cackling geese may mate for life
Cackling Goose Nesting
Cackling Geese are monogamous birds, mating with their chosen partners for life.
Mating tends to happen in their second year, with older birds also looking to mate in
cases of death or loss of a partner. The nesting site is chosen by the female typically at
an elevated level near the edges of ponds, streams, or marshes. The females then
proceed to build a nest with materials available in their vicinity. 4-6 eggs are laid with
incubation carried out by the female for a period of 25-27 days. Goslings are precocial
and tend to leave their nests within 24 hours of hatching.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Cackling Geese
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Cackling Geese are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Cackling Goose T-shirts
If you love the Cackling Goose you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Cackling Goose Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Cackling Goose is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Cackling Goose Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Cackling Goose. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Cackling Geese
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Cackling Geese
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.