During a day on the lake, you see many different birds gliding along the water. You watch one dive to catch a fish. Is it a goose? No, it must be a duck. Or is it a swan? Even people who spend a lot of time around water birds can have a hard time telling these different species apart.

A goose is a bird that lives near ponds, lakes, and other small bodies of water all over the world. They have webbed feet, short legs, large bodies, and long necks.

A goose is bigger than a duck. They have longer necks and shorter bills. Swans are even larger. A swan also typically has a thinner neck with a more hooked shape than a goose.

Fun Facts about the Goose

  • The plural of goose is geese.
  • Babies are called goslings.
  • There’s no official term for a female goose, but they are sometimes called dames.
  • A male goose is called a gander.
  • There are dozens of types of geese worldwide.
  • Geese build their nests near the shores of lakes and ponds.
  • They build wide, flat nests from leaves, branches and feathers.
  • A female goose will nest in the same spot each year.
  • If a goose becomes injured, other geese will stay with it until it dies or can rejoin the flock.
  • Geese mate for life.
  • They make a loud honking sound and will often chase people or pets.
  • Some geese migrate, but others live in the same place year-round.
  • They’re vegetarians. They eat berries, stems, seeds, roots, and grass.