Akimiski Island - Canada Geese and Brant

Page 2

Akimiski Island is a major spring migration stopover area for Atlantic Brant with an estimated 5,000-10,000 at various times (fide Ken Abraham).


A female Canada Goose of the subspecies Branta canadensis interior is on her nest Incubating eggs. This long term study monitors the reproduction, growth and survival of goslings. 29 May 2006.


1. Sarah Hagey finds a nest and records the GPS coordinates.

2. Rod Brook numbers each egg in a nest.


3. Ken Abraham measures the eggs. 27 May 2006

4. Steve Belfry covers the eggs and camouflages the nest.


5. The goslings hatch from the numbered eggs. 7 June 2006

6. Each gosling receives a unique number that is tagged to the web on its foot. If this gosling is recaptured at a later date, researchers will weigh it and take all its measurements. Its growth can be measured because we know its hatch date.


Females are smaller than males but often appear much smaller because they fast during incubation becoming quite thin (fide Chris Sharp). 1 June 2006.

Most days we saw hundreds of Atlantic Brant (subspecies Branta bernicla hrota), which had wintered on the American East Coast. They remain on the Akimiski coast about three weeks feeding and fattening up before flying nonstop farther north to nest on Southampton Island and other Canadian Arctic islands.


Brant and Canada Geese feed on Puccinellia, a native grass growing along the coast. The pack ice was still along shore on 26 May.