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The Canadian "Bernache" or "Outarde" are slowly getting ready

source of the photo above:

I want here to present to the Virilyans our beautiful Canadian geese or “Bernache” or “Outarde” (French names). Actually, being French Canadian born and raised myself, I thought that “Outarde” was the real French word for the Canada goose, but I was wrong. “Outarde” is a name that came from the Quebec province, notably from its first inhabitants from years ago who mistook the “Bernache” for the “Great Buster” (outarde canapetière) from Europe.

But the Canadian geese is really a “Bernache” (Branta canadensis), a member of the greater Anatidae family (such as other geese and swans). There are actually several species (up to 11 subspecies) of “Branta Canadensis” varying in size and weight from 1.1 kilograms (2.42 pounds) to as much as 8 kilograms (17.74 pounds). The span of the wings can vary according to the race from 90 centimeters (35.4 inches) to 2 meters (78.74 inches).

The most recognized patterns of coloring of the Canadian geese is the black head with white cheeks above a very long black neck. The coloring of the inferior sections of the body of the Canadian “Bernache” vary from a very pale grey to hazelnut to a very dark brown. Most have a white chest.

The newly born “Bernache” gosling are covered with a yellow, almost olive colored down which darkens gradually over the next few weeks to grey… There are usually five to seven goslings per couple of Canada geese. One important note here: the Canadian geese usually finds mates and starts reproducing only at two years of age most of the time. They also mate for life but if one of the mates dies, the other will usually find himself or herself another mate.

One of the reasons I am presenting the Canadian “Bernache” to the world is because I am seeing a lot of them lately in the air in their traditional irregular “V” formation while they cackle loudly. They go from one area of feeding to another to try to get as much in before the autumn turns to winter and they start their regular southern migration while travelling sometime some 1500 miles (2414 km) in a week, all depending on the weather. That “V” formation has a purpose: the front row “Bernache” offers a protection to the following geese that make less efforts to travel as they use the air turbulence created by the front ones to get ahead. When the front row geese gets tired out, it simply moves back to rest a bit and another goose or more take the lead.

The southern migration will start as soon as the ground and water starts to freeze in their reproductive areas. They mostly migrate to the southern United States of course but some as far as the North-East of Mexico. The southern migration takes a lot less time than the spring migration when the “Bernarches” return to Canada.

The Canadian geese lives both on water and on land. In spring and summer, it eats mostly grass, leaves, flowers, roots, seeds and different berries. During winter, the Canadian “Bernaches” feed from fields of oats, corn and soya  where some of the cultures have fallen on the fields during harvest season. You can often see a whole field literally covered with Canadian geese who gorge themselves as they need a lot of food for their rather big body and energy expenditure…

Well, that is it that is all folks. Hope to see you again soon and I hope that residents of the United-States and Mexico do not mind too much our invading winter Canada goose as I really love these big birds…

What do you think?

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Written by HistoryGal

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    • Wow long time no see dear Carol. I guess I am missing your posts lately. Thank you for viewing, reading, writing such a beautiful comment and your up vote. Personally I just love seeing the Canadian geese flying in formation and their quite unique cacking…

  1. I am very glad you enjoyed my post. I was very proud to write about these beautiful birds of ours. Yes they do mate for life which is one of the best signs of these grand and regal birds. Thank you for your visit, your awesome comment and up vote.

  2. when I was little I told my grandfather I thought Canadian Geese were beautiful on the shore of the lake (his front yard).

    He said well.
    You can clean up after them.
    The entire length of the front yard every morning.

    Too many geese and too much left after the geese went off swimming.

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