Most wild geese sleep on the water at night, but can also roost on land and in reed beds. They typically return to the same sheltered spot each night as long as it’s safe from predators. Domestic geese often have their own coop that they go to each night, but if the coop is not available, they can find shelter in places like horse’s stalls, barns or even under porches.
Geese are diurnal birds and are active during the day but will rest at night. They are known to roost in large groups and will often mate for life. They are a fairly social bird and can be seen helping each other search for food during the day.
Ganders (male geese) are very territorial and will often defend their territory, mates and nesting areas during the breeding season. They can become aggressive if approached by humans that are perceived as a threat or predator.
It is thought that geese do not sleep during their migration flights as they have to fly a lot during this time and need energy for that. However, it is believed that they will sometimes roost at night during their migration and can use the lowered winds to help reduce the amount of effort required.
Geese have an incredible ability to enter a form of semi-sleep called unihemispheric slow wave sleep. This allows them to sleep with half of their brain still awake, allowing them to check for predators and other threats. They can do this while they are resting on the water, in their nests, on land or during flight.