Goose vs. Gander: What’s The Difference? 5 Facts

Even though the words “gander” and “goose” are often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same.

Ducks, swans, and geese are all in the same family of birds called Anatidae. The females and males of this species are both called geese, but only the males are called ganders.

What Are Geese?

There are many kinds of geese that live near lakes and other bodies of water. Most often seen are black geese, grey geese, and white geese. These geese stand in for the Anser and Branta tribes. Geese are a species with a lot of friends.

Living Areas

Most of the time, you can see geese in Europe, but in the winter, they move to warmer places in Asia. Europe is where they came from.

But now you can find them in Western Asia and North Africa. Geese gather in big groups and can often be seen eating together in fields or near ponds and lakes.

Goose vs. Gander

Geese are kept as pets by some people who care about the environment and want to protect the land they live on. Their loud voices make it easy for people to hear them when they try to warn people about danger.

What Are Ganders?

The gander is the biggest goose in the family. Most of the time, these birds are raised for their meat and eggs, which people then eat.

Even though there are other birds in this group, the gosling is clearly different from them. Geese raised in people’s homes are one of the most popular food birds and a key source of food for many people.

How to Tell Geese from Ganders?

Geese don’t lay eggs like other birds do because they are male. They have genitalia instead, which makes them different from females. The ovaries of female birds are in the lower part of their bodies, but a goose’s organs are in its stomach.

Living Environment

The best place for a goose to live is in the wild. They are stronger than geese that people keep as pets. Ganders can live in many different climates and don’t have to move like other birds do.

Goose vs. Gander

The Size

The size of a gosling and a goose is very different, with the gosling being much bigger. Also, their bodies look very different. Geese have round bodies, while ganders have bodies that are more pointed.

The Aggressivity

Geese are less dangerous than goslings. People usually see them fighting. Geese, on the other hand, are thought to be quiet animals that only act when it’s time to breed.

Key Differences Between Geese and Ganders

DefinitionA term is used for the type of birds which fall in the category irrespective of their gender.A term is used specifically for the male gender
UsageMeat and eggsMeat only
DistinctionGeese have an internal opening on the lower body.Have a small pointed structure on the lower body.
Body structureFemales have the internal ovaries combined together and are placed in the lower body.The internal organs of a gander are inside their abdomen.
ShapeSmall and roundPointy and tall.

What is the difference between Goose and Gander?

The colours of male and female geese are similar, which makes it hard to tell which is which.

In addition to having similar-colored feathers, the male and female both help keep the eggs warm and feed the goslings, which makes it harder to tell them apart.

Because of this, it takes special observation to tell who is a gander and who is a goose. Here are the clear differences between them that need to be understood.

• The most obvious difference between a goose and a gander is how they reproduce. If you looked at the bird’s genitalia, you could tell what kind of bird it was because ganders have a small part that looks like a penis, but geese don’t. But for this strategy to work, the observer needs to catch a pair of geese.

• If there is a dead bird, it can be taken apart to look at its insides. One can see a cluster of ovaries on a female goose. In the abdominal cavity of a gander, you can see the reproductive organs, especially the testicles.

• Most of the time, ganders are bigger and taller than geese. In reality, men are between 8 and 15 centimetres taller than women. So, if you watched both male and female geese, you could tell which ones were ganders in a group of geese. No one should be able to tell the difference between a gander and a goose using this method, but there should be a flock.

• Because men and women have very different habits, observing their behaviour would be a very good way to figure out who they are. Because they have more testosterone in their bodies, ganders are more aggressive than geese. When a person gets close to a gosling, it hisses and puffs up its feathers to show that it is the boss. A female goose, on the other hand, continues to rest.

• Men are more aggressive than women and would rather fight a threat than run away. On the other hand, females don’t always put their heads down.

• The gander mounts the goose when they are trying to mate.

Goose vs. Gander


If you only have a couple of geese, it should be easy to tell them apart. Once you know what they are, you can put tags on their legs or wings to make it easier to tell what they are in the future.

The easiest way for people who have never worked with birds before to tell a goose from a gander is to watch how the geese act when they see you coming.

When geese feel threatened, they will often come up to you low, their necks arched, hissing and shrieking.

Females follow males and only get mean when they have to protect their young.

If you want to learn more about geese, you might find some of the other articles on our site helpful, like this one about how to cut their wings.

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