How many hours a day do Canada Geese typically sleep in a 24 hour period?


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It looks like they spend very little time during the day sleeping,

Aleutian Canada geese in the northern, Arcata study area in 2002 spent 87.0% of the daylight hours actively foraging (SE = 0.01, n = 700 scans) and 12.7% being vigilant (SE = 0.01, n = 700 scans), leaving little time for other activities (Fig. 4).


However, that will depend on the conditions with less activity happening during very cold temperatures.

Temperatures between 16° and 20° F represent a relatively narrow threshold at which these Canada geese did or did not fly in large numbers. Below 15” F the geese spent a great amount of time apparently sleeping with the bill placed under the scapular feathers and the feet and tarsi drawn into the flank feathers.

Activity was minimal and the tendency to flee from predators or other disturbances was markedly reduced.


They will sleep in the water, and some geese will guard,

Geese actually sleep in the water, with a few geese taking shifts throughout the night to act as sentinels. Predators can’t reach them in the water, at least not without making a lot of splashing and sending out warning ripples.


The habitat is right. Golf courses and the typical suburban housing development that includes a pond of some sort are ideal for the birds. For sleeping at night and loafing during the day, they prefer the combination of water and grassy areas with open sightlines between the two.


They can apparently also do what is called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep where they literally sleep with one eye open.

You may also see geese on the shoreline sleeping while they stand on one foot and one eye open. Always on the lookout for danger, the ability to sleep with only half a brain and one eye open is called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep (USWS).


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