Canada geese

Submitted by Sammy Smith (


Canada geese are native to North America and eastern Siberia and northeastern China. They are migratory birds, and their scientific name is Branta canadensis. We see migrating geese frequently today in the spring and autumn. They fly overhead in V-shaped formations, and you can often hear their honking if you’re outdoors.

Zooarchaeologists examine the bones, fish scales, and other remains of creatures recovered from archaeological contexts to determine which species were important to by-gone peoples.

Zooarchaeological studies so far seem to indicate that migratory waterfowl and migratory birds in general were not a major part of the Native American diet in Georgia and Southeastern North America.

Is this because they were difficult to catch or trap, or because their populations were much lower than today? Or perhaps their bones don’t preserve well, so our collections don’t show them. Or…?