More about geese

Two geese

Two geese

Goose (plural Geese) is the English name for a considerable number of birds, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than geese, and ducks, which are smaller.

True geese have been domesticated for centuries. In the west, farmyard geese are descended from the Greylag, but in Asia the Swan Goose has been farmed for at least as long.

All geese eat a largely vegetarian diet, and can become pests when flocks feed on arable crops or inhabit ponds on grassy areas in urban environments. Domestic geese will try out most novel foods for edibility.

Geese usually mate for life, though a small number will “divorce” and mate again. They tend to lay a smaller number of eggs than ducks but both parents protect the nest and young, which usually results in a higher survival rate for the young geese.

The male goose is called a “gander” and the female is the “goose”; young birds before fledgling are known as “goslings”. A group of geese on the ground is called a “gaggle”; when in flying formation, it is called a “wedge” or a “skein”.