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The Difference Between Resident Geese and Non-Resident Geese in New Jersey Region

Geese Control

There are two distinct species of geese in New Jersey or the Garden state as it is typically called and these are the resident geese and non-resident geese. Although very hard to spot, these geese have their specials markers. They are different in nesting, behavior, diet, and habitat. The geese are very popular in the United States of America. They are well known for their biological features of cheek patches, white chinstrap, and the black head.

Four out of the eleven species of Canadian Geese occupying New Jersey are resident geese. Although, the Giant, the Western and the Interior can be found in the state, the Atlantic Sub-species is the most predominant goose species.

The main visible feature that differentiates these creatures is hard to spot. These four species appear alike. However, there is proof of genetic and physical differences between them.

Two distinctive geese can be found in New Jersey and the country at large, and they are; the resident geese and non-resident or migratory geese.

Resident Geese and Non- Resident geese

The resident goose population is made up of the subspecies of the goose that were introduced to the state in early 1900 to provide help for hunting sports and to beautify an environment. However, the comfortable weather and habitat combined with their weakness for migrating made them stay and increase the number if resident geese. While the non-resident geese only move around for a favorable weather and after which it goes back to its original habitat.

The normal sex of geese can be determined from a distance simply by the size. Notwithstanding sizes between these geese can be inaccurate when the non-resident and resident geese copulate because the non-resident males are not as large as the resident males.


There are no physical differences between the resident and non-resident geese as earlier stated. The only difference is in their attitudes and behavior. It varies from nesting, diet, habitat, and migration.

Migration and Habitat

The natural goose habitat typically consists of fields with short vegetation and wetland areas. The resident geese reside permanently in the United States of America and do not move to other places when there is a change in weather all year round. The name is self-explanatory as they predominantly reside in the area they are seen. While the non-resident geese have nests all over the place from Alaska, Canada, and Labrador, etc. and migrate for winter to the United States of America. It only moves to these places whenever it pleases.


The area highly influences resident geese they occupy which is human-dominated landscapes. So their main source of a meal is highly dependent on human activities. A continuous supply of food is available to them throughout the year due to the constant supply of food from the lawn vegetation, pastures, waste grains, crops, in addition to the natural Wetland Vegetation.

A portion of their meals is made of up human handouts and gardening. They feed on the soft new growth of mowed lawns in Golf courses, cemeteries, and industrial and recreational parks.

The non-resident geese mostly depend on their natural diets which include underwater vegetation and plants, small grains, grasses, sedges and winter wheat and small grains. They can manage for long periods of time with little or no food at all, unlike the resident geese due to unfavorable weather like winter, restricting their food. Because their natural diet is submerged, and when it snows the grounds freezes up and prevents them from feeding. They calculate the movement towards the north gets there when the ice has melted to allow them to feed again. And this may take a long period which means they must endure for a longer period with no food. And like the resident geese, human handouts and gardens supplement their meal.


Both geese always build a sheltered nest close to the water while still having a clear view of the areas in search of predators. Example being hummocks, islands, ponds, and riverbanks. But due to the close relations of the resident geese with humans, it tends to pick more social structures for nest sites. Like discarded cars, rooftops (which is very popular), platforms, parking lots, etc. And make use of the same nest annually.

The making of the nest is a simple enough process. As the female geese make a hole in the soil and fill it with grasses, cattails, and twigs from nearby vegetation. To make a nest, that is approximately two feet deep and lined with feathers from its mammalian gland.

After the making the nest, they start laying the eggs, almost every two days. After all the groups of eggs are laid, the incubation can now take place because it would not begin until all eggs have been hatched so the goslings can all be hatched at the right time. And this hatching period can last from 25 to 30 days, while the female is going through all the this alone the male stands in protection ready to defends the female against any form of predator either human or animal.

The resident geese in New Jersey start building their nests early in March but finish in June. If you love them, you can decide to raise them in a farm and study their behavior overtime.

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