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BC Conservation Data Centre: Species Summary

Branta canadensis occidentalis
Canada Goose, occidentalis subspecies

Scientific Name: Branta canadensis occidentalis (S.F. Baird, 1858)
English Name: Canada Goose, occidentalis subspecies
Classification / Taxonomy
Scientific Name - Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1957. The AOU check-list of North American birds, 5th ed. Port City Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD. 691 pp.
Classification Level: Subspecies
Species Group: Vertebrate Animal
Species Code: B-CAGO-OC
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Craniata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae
Conservation Status / Legal Designation
Global Status: G5T3 (Apr 2016)
Provincial Status: S2M (Jan 2009)
BC List: Red
Provincial FRPA list:   
Provincial Wildlife Act:
SARA Schedule:
General Status Canada:
Migratory Bird Convention Act:
Ecology & Life History
General Description:
Migration Characteristics:
(Global / Provincial)
    Local Migrant:
    Distant Migrant:
    Within Borders Migrant:
N /
N /
N /
na /
(Type / Subtype / Dependence)
Agriculture / Cultivated Field / Facultative - frequent use
Agriculture / Hedgerow / Facultative - frequent use
Agriculture / Pasture/Old Field / Facultative - frequent use
Grassland/Shrub / Meadow / Facultative - occasional use
Ocean / Eelgrass Beds / Facultative - occasional use
Ocean / Intertidal Marine / Facultative - frequent use
Ocean / Pelagic / Facultative - occasional use
Ocean / Sheltered Waters - Marine / Facultative - frequent use
Ocean / Subtidal Marine / Facultative - frequent use
Other Unique Habitats / Estuary / Facultative - frequent use
Wetland / Marsh / Facultative - frequent use
Global Habitat Comments: Breeds in freshwater marsh with tall shrub vegetative cover. Landscape level: herb graminoid and mixed tree/shrubs landcover classes dominated all 5 breeding-pair density strata (Crouse et al. 1996). Nest site level: Interlevee basins were the most common site used for nesting, followed by levees (Crouse et al. 1996). Low shrub cover or low height forb cover were important components of a nest site in high density nesting strata (Crouse et al. 1996).

Winters in farm fields and agricultural wetlands in Washington and Oregon (Bromley 1976, Cline and Lenhart 1985, Campbell 1990).
Food Habits:
Global Food Habits Comments:
Global Phenology:
Provincial Phenology:
(1st half of month/
2nd half of month)
Colonial Breeder: N
Length(cm)/width(cm)/Weight(g): / /
Elevation (m) (min / max): Global: 
Endemic: N
Global Range Comment: Breeding occurs on the Copper River Delta near Cordova, Alaska, including Egg Island, Castle Island, and Storey Island. Nonbreeding and molting geese occur in the Bering Glacier area (Eldridge et al. 1997). Wintering occurs primarily in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and along the Columbia River in Washington (Bartonek et al. 1971, Cornely et al. 1988).
Authors / Contributors
Global Information Author:
Last Updated: Sep 13, 1996
Provincial Information Author:
Last Updated:
References and Related Literature
Bromley, R.G., and T.C. Rothe. 2003. Conservation assessment for the dusky Canada goose (Branta canadensis occidentalis Baird). Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-591. Portland, OR: U.S. Dep. Agric., For. Serv., Pacific Northwest Research Station. 79pp.
Campbell, R.W., N.K. Dawe, I.McT. Cowan, J.M. Cooper, G. Kaiser, and M.C.E. McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia, Vol. 1. Nonpasserines: Introduction, Loons through Waterfowl. Royal B.C. Mus. in association with Environ. Can., Can. Wildl. Serv. 514pp.
Crouse, J., D. Youkey, and S. Babler. 1996. Dusky Canada goose nest distribution and abundance on the Copper River Delta, Alaska. Forest Service Report, Cordova Ranger District, Chugach National Forest. 23 pp.
Scribner, K.T., J.M. Pearce, B.J. Pierson, S.L. Talbot, and D. Derksen. 1997. Molecular status of the Dusky Canada Goose-genetic assessment of a relocation effort. Paper presentation at the Seventh Alaska Bird Conference, 1-5 December 1997, Anchorage, Alaska.

Please visit the website Conservation Status Ranks for definitions of the data fields used in this summary report.

Suggested Citation:

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 1996. Species Summary: Branta canadensis occidentalis. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: (accessed Feb 2, 2023).