Kuihi/Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Introduced, Not assessed.
This large North American goose was first introduced to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1905 and soon spread throughout.
As these geese are grazers they are frequently seen in pastoral areas but also inhabit lakes, rivers and coastal areas, especially after the moult as these provide much security as they are unable to fly for several weeks. They are considered pests in some areas.
Males are much heavier than females weighing up to 8.5 kg with females several kg lighter. Their plumage is quite distinctive with the neck and head coloured black with a white cheek patch which stretches to just under the chin. Upperparts are brown while underparts are either white, a lighter shade of brown or a mixture of both. Juveniles lack the intensity of colour while goslings are a yellowish grey colour. They are noisy birds, especially when flying in the classic V formation.
Flocks of several hundred have been recorded in the Estuary but these are now much reduced.