Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
 about habitat birds + science 20 birds
aerialist raptors
copyright UW Sea Grant, writer: L. Wiland, design: T. Yao contact us credits

Canada Goose – Water Connection

• Canada Geese are strong walkers on land, but their large webbed feet also give them paddling power when swimming.

• When floating or swimming, geese will take floating food from the water’s surface. However, to reach submerged vegetation they also often “dabble,” or pivot headfirst and downward into the water while raising their hindquarters above water.

• Along with ducks, geese have a special gland called the preen gland at the base of their tails. Oil from this gland keeps the birds’ tail feathers water-resistant. Using their beaks, geese also spread this oil from their tail feathers to all their other feathers.

• Under their outer feathers, geese have a soft, downy layer of feathers that traps warm air against their skin and keeps the birds warm even in cold water.

ML Reeb writer: Laurence Wiland design: T. Yao