Canada Goose - Subspecies

Branta canadensis

See also this page for direct comparisons.
Some of these photos are copyright Tina MacDonald. Click on them to see a larger image.
Photo Name Distinguishing Characteristics Breeding Distribution
Giant Canada Goose
B.c. maxima
This is the largest of the subspecies. The Giant Canada was believed to be extinct but was rediscovered in the 1960's. Ganders can reach to the size of 23 pounds or more and both sexes may also have a full or partial white band above the bill and eyes. There is a small backward projecting hook on the white cheek patch. Originally coastal west Alaska - feral populations now widespread in North America
Moffitt's Canada Goose - Photo copyright Myles Lamont
Photo copyright 
Myles Lamont
Moffit's or Western Canada Goose
B. c. moffitti
Large goose, weighing about 8 - 12 pounds. Bright breast (silvery-breasted) with a distinct break between neck and breast. West of the Rockies
Vancouver Canada Goose - Photo copyright Myles Lamont
Photo copyright 
Myles Lamont
Vancouver Canada Goose
B. c. fulva
Fulva is the largest of the dark forms of Canada goose, with a dark breast. It weighs six to thirteen pounds. Ninety percent of this species do not migrate and live in British Columbia all year round. Coastal south Alaska, western British Columbia
... Atlantic Canada Goose
B. c. canadensis
The Atlantic weighs six to eleven pounds and is light colored. Eastern Canada, also the primary form that has been introduced in Europe.
Photo Link
Dusky Canada Goose
B. c. occidentalis
The dusky has breast feathers that are the color of cocoa rather than battleship gray. South-west Alaska
Hudson's Bay or Interior or Todd's Canada Goose
B. c. interior
The Interior weighs six to eleven pounds and is medium colored,  Central and eastern Canada
Photo Link
Lesser Canada Goose
B. c. parvipes
The Lesser weighs six pounds and is light colored. Inland Canada

Taverner's Canada Goose
B. c. taverneri
The Tavener's has a broad black line under the chin separating the two white cheek patches and a shortish bill. Has a tannish-gray-breast. Alaska peninsula to Mackenzie Delta
Aleutian Canada Goose - Photo copyright Paul and Helen Harris
Photo copyright Paul and Helen Harris
Aleutian Canada Goose
B. c. leucopareia
Endangered subspecies. A distinguishing character of the Aleutian Canada Goose is a broad white band that extends completely around the base of the neck between the black neck and gray breast; a few adults and many juveniles lack the
complete neck ring. Small goose weighing about 5 pounds.Has a high, abrupt forehead that results from enlargement of the supraorbital salt gland in response to consumption of salt water
by this coastal bird.
Aleutian Islands
Photo Link 1
Photo Link 2
Baffin Island or Richardson's Canada Goose
B. c. hutchinsii
Smallest of the pale forms of Canada Goose. One of the palest of all the Canadas. North-central Canada
Cackling Canada Goose - Photo copyright Don Roberson
Photo copyright
Don Roberson
Photo Link
Cackling Canada Goose
B. c. minima
Small, dark goose with almost duck-like proportions (about the size of a mallard - about 3 pounds). It is darker than other small geese. Has a short, stubby bill and "puffy" head. The neck seems to merge with the breast. It often has a white neck ring, but the ring rarely extends around the back of the neck as it does in the Aleutian Canada Goose. Coastal West Alaska
Leucistic Canada Goose - Photo copyright Tina MacDonald
Branta canadiensis Although not technically a subspecies - the bird in the background of this photo is an interesting leucistic form of Canada Goose. Leucistic forms replace black with grey in some or all of the feathering. At this point, I have no idea what subspecies it is, but it was photographed on Vancouver Island. There is a hint of the broad line under the jaw (grey in this case rather than black), so it may be a Taverner's form. ...