|NORTH AMERICA at large is the range of this magnificent bird. Common Wild Goose and Grey Goose are its other names, and by which it is generally known. The Canada Goose is by far the most abundant and universally distributed of all North American Geese, and in one or other of its varieties is found in all the states and territories of our country except perhaps Florida and the Gulf States. In Texas, however, it is plentiful during the winter months. According to Hallock, although by far the greater portion of Wild Geese which pass the winter with us, go north to breed, still in suitable localities young are reared all over the United States from North Carolina to Canada. They nest in the wilder parts of Maine, and are especially numerous in Newfoundland near the secluded pools and streams so abundant throughout that island. There, remote from man, they breed undisturbed on the edges and islands of the ponds and lakes. The Geese moult soon after their arrival in the spring, and, says Hallock, owing to the loss of their pinion feathers are unable to fly during the summer or breeding seasons, but they can run faster than a man on the marshes, or if surprised at or near a pond, they will plunge in and remain under water with their bills only above the surface to permit breathing, until the enemy has passed by. They feed on berries and the seeds of grasses.||Both
the old and young become enabled to fly in September, and
as soon after that as the frost affects the berries, and
causes the seeds of the grasses on the marshes and
savannas to fall to the earth, or otherwise when the snow
falls and covers the ground, they collect in flocks and
fly off to the southern shores of the island, and from
thence to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where they remain
until December, and then assembled, take flight in
immense flocks to the southern parts of America, to
return in the spring.
The Canada Goose also breeds in great numbers on the Mississippi river, in which region it often places its nest in trees, choosing generally a cottonwood stub not more than thirty feet in height. The young are said to be carried from the nest to the water in the mothers bill, as are the young of the Wood Duck. (See BIRDS, vol. ii, p. 21).
The Wild Goose is often domesticated, and in many portions of the country they are bred in considerable numbers. When these birds return south at the commencement of winter they are generally very thin and poor, being quite worn out by their long journey. They soon recuperate, however, and in a short time become fat and are delicious eating. A full and excellent account of the method of capturing the Canada Goose may be found in Hallocks Gazetteer.