Canada goose

Large goose with white cheeks

Canada goose © Jussi Helimäki

The Canada goose (Branta canadensis) is a North American species that was introduced to Europe to serve as a game bird. The Finnish population can trace its roots to birds introduced to an area near Porvoo in 1964. The Canada goose did not start nesting in Helsinki until the early 1990s. The local population has grown rapidly ever since, currently standing at approximately 50 breeding pairs.

The Canada goose nests in the middle archipelago, particularly in the small islands of Seurasaarenselkä. The Canada goose can weigh up to five kilograms, and is strong enough to defend its nest against foxes. The Canada goose is a hardy bird that doesn’t start its migration until December. It often feeds while swimming, unlike the barnacle goose.