Where Do Canada Geese Migrate To?

Michael Gil/CC-BY 2.0

Canada geese spend winter months in the southern regions of North America. This includes Mexico and the southern United States. The southernmost limit of their migration is creeping northward as the climate warms.

Canada geese traditionally spend the warmer months of the year in Canada, then migrate south for the cold winter months. This cycle has started to change due to climate change. There is a large population of Canada geese that no longer migrate, and instead stay year-round in parts of the northern half of the United States and some warmer coastal regions of western Canada. Canada geese also do not travel as far south as they used to, stopping in the uppermost part of Mexico rather than extending down through the country. The length of the winter migration has also shortened.

Changes in available food also have an impact on this change in migration. More grain is available, so the Canada geese do not have such a large need for dramatic, long-term migration. There are also new hunting regulations that encourage the geese to stay in one spot for longer.

When Canada geese migrate, migrating groups form the classic V shape that helps them travel great distances in short amounts of time without tiring.