In North America there are over a dozen distinct races of Canada goose, but those, which exist in Britain, are probably descended from one or two of the larger races. It is currently the only black goose on the British shooting list.
The Canada goose is much the largest of the so-called black geese - those with solid black areas in their plumage. In this species the black is confined to the head and neck where it is further marked by a broad white chinstrap. The rest of the body is mostly brown.
Breeds and winters on reservoirs, lakes, gravel pits and marshes.
Introduced roughly 250 years ago, the Canada goose is now a common and widespread feral bird. Vagrant birds tend to turn up among large mixed geese flocks, particularly in Scotland. Can be easily seen at most large lakes or reservoirs in lowland England and now breeds widely in Norway and Sweden.
The British feral population is somewhere in the region of 46000 birds, with about 700 birds in Ireland.