The Christmas Goose

Blog Category
Discover Nature Notes
Published Display Date
Dec 22, 2019

The Christmas goose is a holiday tradition in some Missouri homes.  From sky to table, the giant Canada is among the largest in the world.  They were thought to be extinct 60 years ago due to unregulated hunting, egg collecting, and habitat destruction.  After remnant populations were found, restoration work began in Missouri and across the country.

Today, giant Canada geese are a conservation success story.  Millions are harvested by hunters in North America and their numbers still increase.  These giants can be found in every U.S. state and dominate the flyways. Their abundance has been a recreational gift for those who enjoy the hunt and harvest, and watching wildlife up close.

Giant Canada geese enjoy the same areas we do including parks, lawns, golf courses, and waterside areas.  Their sheer numbers and vast amount of droppings can cause real problems.  MDC biologists work with communities to limit nuisance problems and balance populations.

You can't miss the presence of giant Canada geese.  You can hear them coming and going.  Most flocks stick around all year, but when they do choose to move along, they can cover an impressive distance in a relatively short time frame.  Besides a nutritious food source, they also provide down for bedding and coats.

Canada Geese form strong family bonds; mating for life.  The female builds an elevated ground nest with unobstructed views while the male defends. The young remain with them for about a year.  These tasty birds can weigh more than twenty pounds and live 30 years or more.

Watch the short video below to see giant Canada geese in flight from the MDC film archives.

Learn how to get started waterfowl hunting.

Watch a Caribbean Snow Geese recipe in the video below.

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