Is this bird
A) Canada Goose
B) Canadian Goose
C) Cackling Goose
D) Waterproof Chicken
The answer is C: Cackling Goose. If you said D, I'll accept that answer because why not? B is kind of wrong; the goose you typically see is called a "Canada" not "Canadian" Goose. Yes, I know "Canadian" may seem like a better adjective to use, but the geese don't care about grammar so just roll with it.
A Canada Goose and a Cackling Goose look almost identical, so much so that they were all under the Canada Goose family not so long ago. In 2004 the Cackling Goose was split from the Canada Goose and is listed as its own species now.
So how can you tell the difference? The first is size. The Cackling is about 25" long; the Canada is about 30"-40" long. Now, since most of us don't carry a yard stick when we hike, and none of us really want to wrangle a goose just to measure it, there are other ways to tell the difference between a Cackling and Canada.
The Cackling has a cuter face than the Canada. What? That description isn't objective enough for you? Sheesh! You're difficult. OK, how's this? The Cackling's head is more round, rather than elongated. It has a steeper forehead and a smaller bill so the head looks more tucked in and round. The neck is also shorter.
Still too hard to tell the difference? Here's an easy way to tell: the Canada honks, while the Cackling cackles with a high-pitched squeak or yip. So if you really want to know for sure what type of goose you're looking at, engage it in a conversation. 😆