Canada Goose Subspecies

The following guide to Canada Goose sub-species is copied nearly word for word from "Pacific Northwest Goose Management" the publication produced by ODFW and WDFW and given to goose hunters during their course in goose identification, now required to get a goose hunting license.

Any complaints about the generalizations and descriptions made in this table should be directed to either the Oregon or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Western  Vancouver  Dusky  Lesser  Taverner's  Aleutian  Cackler 
SIZE  Largest  Similar to Western  Large  Medium to large  20-30% smaller than Dusky  Slightly larger than Cackler  Smallest, Mallard sized 
WEIGHT  8-12lb  8-11lb  6.5-10lb  5-6lb  4.5-6lb  3-4lb  3.3.5lb 
NECK/BREAST  Very bright breast, very distinct break between neck and breast  Dark breast  Dark breast, but color varies. Neck seems to merge with breast.  Lighter breast than Dusky  Light breast, but color varies. Distinctive break between neck and breast.  Grayish-brown breast. Broad white neck ring.  Short, stubby bill and "puffy" head. Neck seem to merge with breast. 
COLLARS  White collars  No collars  Red Collars  Blue Collars  No collars  Color Leg bands and gray, green and blue collars Yellow collars 
VOICE, CALLS  same  same  same  same  same  same  High-pitched yelping 
FLOCK SIZE  small flocks, variable  Small  Small flocks, usually less than 40, variable Small  Large flocks, often 200 or more, variable  Small  Large flocks, variable 
POPULATION STATUS  Increasing  Low Numbers  12,500, depressed  Moderate numbers  50,000, stable  Increasing  Increasing rapidly, 100,000+ 
BEHAVIOR  Not always wary. Likely to fly low and can decoy small flocks  Similar to Western  Not very wary. Likely to fly low, come right in. Decoys to small brushy fields.  Similar to Taverner's  Wary, circles many times before coming in and likes open fields.  Not very wary.  Down right friendly. 
WING SHAPE & BEAT  Relatively slow wing beat  Similar to Western Wing appears broader in proportion to length compared to Taverner's Similar to Taverner's  Wing appearance narrow and long in relation to body.  Similar to Cackler  Relatively rapid wing beat. 

Kortright, F.H. 1943. Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America.
    American Wildlife Institute. Washington, DC.

Madge, S and H. Burn. 1988. Waterfowl: an identification guide to
    the ducks, geese and swans of the world. Houghton Mifflin Co.

Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife. 1997.
    Pacific Northwest Goose Management. ODFW, Portland.

Sibley, D.A. 2000. Sibley Guide to Birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New