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1 December 2017 Fish Feeding Behavior in a Local Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) Population
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Abstract

North American geese (Anserini) are largely herbivorous, yet exploration and exploitation of a variety of food sources is well known. Utilization of a novel food source can be limited by many factors, including, but not limited to, general morphology and physiology, availability in the landscape, and energy balance constraints. Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are documented to be exclusively herbivorous, yet herein we report observations over a two-year period of at least 8 different individual Canada Geese catching and eating fish. We hypothesize that this behavior represents an opportunistic exploitation of a readily available food source during a time when weather conditions limit foraging activities on the surrounding landscape. Our observations suggest the possibility of fish as a potential food source not previously recognized for Canada Geese.

Muir D. Eaton, Robert E. Wilson, Spencer Elmer, and Brian Parker "Fish Feeding Behavior in a Local Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) Population," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 129(4), 878-882, (1 December 2017). https://doi.org/10.1676/16-197.1
Received: 27 October 2016; Accepted: 1 February 2017; Published: 1 December 2017
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