Goose vs Duck: What Are The Differences and Similarities

Distinguishing geese and ducks: Geese have 17-24 neck bones Ducks have 16 or fewer.  Explore their size, diet, behavior, and more in our comprehensive guide.

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Geese: Long necks, muted colors, powerful wings.  Ducks: colorful feathers, longer bills. Exception: Snow Goose with a short neck.

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Body & Shape

Geese are larger with longer necks than ducks. Ducks weigh 3-6 lbs, 15-20 inches, while geese weigh twice, 30-50 inches. Size easily distinguishes them.

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Size

Ducks run 8.2 mph, fly 40-60 mph; geese fly 40-70 mph. Generally peaceful, but may get aggressive when threatened, especially geese protecting young.

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Speed

Geese outlive ducks, geese live 15-20 years, ducks 10-15. Predators threaten both, impacting lifespan. Farm/pet birds may exceed wild ones.

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Age

Geese are aggressive, used as guards; ducks have mild temperaments. Geese migrate, territorial in breeding. Ducks are social, some migrate in winter.

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Behavior

Diet varies by breed. Geese are herbivores, eating land and water plants. Ducks, omnivores, prefer crustaceans and fish but adapt based on habitat.

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Diet

Geese prefer watery habitats globally, while ducks thrive in water-centric areas, forming small flocks, avoiding loneliness.

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Location

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