Where Do Canadian Geese Sleep?

December 22, 2023

Geese spend a lot of time tipped forward, since this position helps them to eat and drink. They also spend a great deal of their time in large flocks. Flocks generally remain the same throughout the year, and most members of a flock are related to one another. Geese mate for life, and male and female birds take turns incubating eggs and guarding the nests.

Geeses are diurnal and sleep at night, though they do wake up to eat during the day. When they roost at night, they typically choose a spot on land or water that is relatively safe from predators, such as a field or pond. The geese in a flock will also take shifts during the night to act as sentinels in case of any potential threats. This is made possible thanks to a unique technique known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep (USWS), which allows geese to shut down half of their brain and catch some zzzz’s, while keeping the other half awake to monitor for predators. Dolphins and whales use USWS as well, but geese are the only animals that can control it while in mid-air.

You might also notice that geese have different tail feathers, which help to identify the sex of the goose. The feathers of an adult male are rounded, while those of a female are pointed. They can also be identified by their bill color, which is blue in males and yellow in females. The head of a male goose is also larger and wider than the head of a female.


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