11 Predatory Animals That Eat Geese (A to Z List)

Some animals that eat geese include eagles, foxes, hawks, owls, rats, raccoons, snakes, and wolves.

Some of these animals, like wolves, are extraordinary predators which hunt and kill both the adult goose and babies (goslings). 

Others, like raccoons, are scavengers that eat geese when presented with the opportunity.

What Eats Geese? (A to Z List)

Related: What do Geese Symbolize?

1. Bears

While bears are lazy predators who don’t like to chase down prey, a bear will quickly seize upon a wounded or recently deceased goose (called carrion meat).

Often, bears will allow other animals to do the hunting (for example, coyotes), then run into the scene to steal the fresh meat from the other animal.

Bears are found throughout North America, in parts of Europe, and parts of Asia. The most common interactions between bears and geese occur in North America, and specifically between bears and Canada geese.

Related: Brown Bear Symbolism

2. Coyotes

Coyotes are one of the greatest predators to geese and cause a serious threat to Canada goose colonies.

One study in Chicago found that coyotes are responsible for about 75% of Canada goose nest raids. They will raid the nest for both eggs, chicks, and adult geese, but prefer to eat the chicks who find it hard to fight back.

3. Dogs

Dogs will attempt to predate on geese which is why it’s so important to keep them on a leash in public parks.

Many municipalities where there are urban parks with goose populations will ban dogs from being in those parks. Urban goose populations are some of the most threatened, and the main threat to these populations is dogs and their thoughtless owners.

4. Eagles

Eagles are very strongly built birds of prey with powerful beaks and heavy heads. They are popularly known as the apex predators due to their strength, large size, and being at the top of the food chain.

The Eagles are known to hunt and eat other species of birds, including geese. 

They have powerful eyes and a superior visual acuity (more than eight times that of humans), enabling them to spot and hunt geese and their young.

Today, more than 60 eagle species exist in different parts of the world, including Asia, North America, and Europe. 

Eagles are ranked amongst the most dangerous predators because they can hunt their prey air-to-ground and air-to-air. Hence the reason migratory birds like a goose fly very high.

Related: What does the Bald Eagle Represent?

5. Foxes

Foxes belong to the Canidae family. They pose a real threat to geese in areas where they live because they love eating the bird. 

This predator has a long, bushy brush tail, flattened skull, erect triangular ears, and a slightly upturned and pointed nose.

Besides Antarctica, foxes are found on every continent. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the most widespread species of fox, has about 47 recognized subspecies. 

Other species of this omnivorous animal that eat geese include;

  • Rüppell’s fox
  • Corsac fox 
  • Bengal fox
  • Arctic fox
  • Blanford’s fox
  • Cape fox
  • Fennec fox.

Foxes are not scavengers like some animals, which only eat geese if given an opportunity (such as when they come across its carrion meat). Rather a fox will hunt and eat a full-grown adult goose.

Related: Fox Symbolism

6. Hawks

Hawks are diurnal birds that can come in various medium sizes. These birds belong to the family Accipitridae. 

Hawks have an excellent vision, which makes them amazing predators. The most common hawk found in North America is the red-tailed hawk. 

Research shows that this bird can adapt to any environment. However, they prefer to stay in open places like fields and deserts. 

Hawks like to eat geese and are very patient when it comes to hunting them. Some hawk species can hover in the air for hours, waiting patiently for the perfect time to strike. 

Once they see goslings separated from their mother, they will go after them and pick these goslings off the ground and into the air, without a trace.

Hawks are also commonly found in the West Indies, Africa, and Central America.

7. Owls

Owls are nocturnal birds of prey which are from the order Strigiformes. They have binaural hearing, binocular vision, and a large head. 

Their sharp talons and feathers can help the owl easily prey on goslings since an adult goose may be large for them to carry and eat.

Some species of owl known to hunt down and eat the young ones of geese include the following:

  • Tawny owl (Strix aluco)
  • Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo)
  • Little owl (Athene noctua)
  • Northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus)
  • Barn owl (Tyto alba)
  • Lesser sooty owl (Tyto multipunctata)
  • Tasmanian masked owl (Tyto novaehollandiae castanops)
  • Sri Lanka bay owl (Phodilus assimilis).

Many owl species can hunt in the dark. This allows them to have a significant advantage over geese.

8. Rats

Rats, unbelievably, will eat tiny gooselings if they get the chance.

Rats are long-tailed rodents that belong to the order Rodentia. Some of the common rat species that eat geese include:

  • Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)
  • Neotoma (pack rats)
  • Bandicota (bandicoot rats)
  • Dipodomys (kangaroo rats).

Rats present a real danger to baby geese and unhatched goose eggs. This is mainly because they can see well in the dark, unlike a diurnal goose which only sees well during daytime.

Even though adult geese can defend themselves against rat attacks, the rats can steal their unhatched eggs or young ones undetected, using the cover of the darkness.

Limiting any food leftovers lying around the poultry can prevent rats from getting attracted to a goose den.

9. Raccoons

Raccoons are scavengers which love eating dead animals, including the carrion meat of geese. However, they also like to raid goose nests. In fact, this study found that they are responsible for about 25% of Canada goose nest depreciation.

Unsealed garbage bags and food waste are things that can attract a raccoon to your poultry. Hence, an effective way to ensure your geese is well protected from raccoons is to eliminate food leftovers and garbage pull factors. 

You can also use buried chicken wire to seal your goose pen. That could prevent raccoons and other known predators like foxes and rats from reaching your geese.

10. Snakes

Snakes are limbless elongated reptiles that belong to the suborder Serpentes and are found everywhere in the world except Antarctica. 

This reptile is known to eat all kinds of birds, including geese and their babies. But, snakes wil mostly feeds on the eggs of geese moreso than the birds themselves.

Some arboral snakes, like pythons, do sneak up on chicks in the night and snatch them out of the nest.

A venomous snake will use its venom to subdue and kill the geese. Non-venomous snakes either constrict the geese or swallow them alive.

In the United States, pythons and cottonmouth are the species of snake commonly recognized to feed on goslings and eggs.

Related: What Eats Snakes?

11. Wolves

Wolves are wild and predatory animals that feed on prey like geese, ground squirrels, and deer. A wolf pack usually separates and surrounds the prey when hunting a larger animal. 

Just like eagles, wolves are apex predators because they rank highest on the food chain.

Each predator possesses a unique sense of hunting instincts and strategies.

A wolf uses its great sense of smell, coupled with its extraordinary hearing ability, to locate geese. Then they will chase the birds and test them, looking for the weakest goose they can kill with little effort and energy.

Conclusion

Animals like foxes, hawks, eagles, raccoons, and wolves eat adult geese and their young ones.

At the same time, animals like rats and snakes prefer to target their unhatched eggs or babies.

To sum up, the animals that eat geese are either intelligent hunters or patient scavengers. They depend on their instincts and hunting strategies to trap the geese, kill and eat them.

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