Differences Between Geese vs Ducks

Geese and ducks are usually mistaken for one another due to their common features. However, there are some clues that you can rely on to identify each of them. Let’s see how similar and different from Geese vs Ducks in this article.

geese vs ducks

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Are geese ducks?

Geese are definitely not ducks, but there’re lots of confusion between these two species if you judge from their looks.

It is because geese vs ducks are both members of the waterfowl bird family Anatidae, including ducks, geese and swans.

As a member of the Anatidae, these two species share many commonalities.

  • Both can swim, float on the water surface, and sometimes dive in shallow water areas.
  • Have a broad and elongated body with long necks and strong short legs set to the back of their bodies.
  • Have short and pointed wings with strong muscles for flights.
  • Have waterproof feather thanks to the natural oil on their bodies.
  • Have webbed feet.
  • Typical habitats are lakes, ponds or oceanic islands.

Read More: What is a Boy Duck Called? Here’s what a male duck is REALLY, some male duck facts, and how you can tell a male from a female duck!

Differences Between Geese Vs Ducks

Despite the similarities, there are still numerous differences between a goose and a duck.

1. Neck length

The typical feature of a goose is its long neck, which makes it look higher than other types in the same family. A goose normally has 17-24 neck bones, whereas a duck has only 16 or less.

2. Size

Geese are typically larger than ducks with longer bodies and legs. That’s one of the ways to differentiate between geese and ducks.

Read More: Do Ducks Have 2 Legs? Do their wings count as legs? We take a dive into the anatomy of ducks!

3. Voice

In spite of the same family, how a duck communicates with its type is different from how a goose does. Ducks use quacking noises, while geese use their specific honking voice for communication.

4. Colour

The feathers of duck can vary from orange, green, yellow to black. Interestingly, male ducks’ colour is usually brighter than the female.

On the other hand, geese are usually white, grey or black, and there’s no difference in colours between a male and a female goose.

Read More: Do Canadian Geese Nest in Trees? Discover the interesting nesting behavior of geese!

5. Bill size

Ducks and geese both have bills, however, the structures of their bills are different.

Ducks’ bills are flatter with nostrils high up on the bills, close to their heads, whereas geese have shorter bills with lower nostrils compared to ducks’.

Read More: Do Ducks Like Fish? See if fish are a good addition to your duck’s diet!

6. Lifespan

A goose seems to have a longer life than a duck. This reality is applied for the wild ones also. A duck can averagely live from 10-15 years, while a goose has a lifespan of up to 15-20 years.

Read More: When Do Geese Lay Eggs? Here’s when they lay, how they prepare nests, and how they care for their young!

7. Egg size

A goose egg is considerably bigger than a duck egg, which is the reason why the price of a goose egg in the market is always higher.

A goose lay only around 2-7 eggs at a time, on the other hand, a duck can give around 5-18 eggs at a time.

Read More: How Big is a Duck Egg in Inches? Here are the average size and weights of duck eggs compared to chicken eggs!

8. Food preference

Geese and ducks are both interested in land or aquatic plants. Geese are known as herbivores, which means they are always fond of grass, plants and shrubs.

However, ducks are omnivores, so they may eat snails, crustaceans, worms or even fish in the water or the ground besides plants.

9. Breeding and lifestyle

Ducks and geese are known to be monogamous birds, which means they only have one partner during the mating season.

The difference between them is that a goose stays with its partner for a lifetime, whereas a duck stays with its partner in only one season, meaning that it might have different partners in various stages of life.

Regarding how they take care of the babies, most ducklings receive only the care from a mother duck, while goslings can be cared for by both the parents.

Read More: How Do You Incubate a Duck Egg You Found? This guide covers step-by-step how to incubate duck eggs to help you through the process!

10. Farming

In terms of the living condition, ducks may love a place with:

  • A solid roof with adequate ventilation.
  • A nesting box on the ground for their eggs and sleep.
  • An open space for running that is safe from predators like foxes or raccoons.
  • A water area for bathing and swimming.
  • A waterer for cleaning and blowing their nostrils.

Read More: Is a Swan and a Goose the Same Thing? See how these two waterfowl differ!

For geese, their ideal living place includes:

  • A frame house for their nesting.
  • A solid roof to keep them away from the rain and the wind.
  • An open space for running and detecting any predators.
  • A water bucket for cleaning and blowing their nostrils (like ducks).

Read More: How Many Eggs Do Ducks Lay Per Year? Discover the yield of different duck species and how many eggs they can lay per year and each day!

Easy way to identify a duck or a goose

Is it clear to answer “Are geese ducks?” now? It’s not difficult if you remember to put those tips on how to identify a duck or a goose in your pocket.

  • If you see a weird long neck, it must be a goose rather than a duck.
  • You may see a duck in your life sometimes, so in case you see a larger one with some different features, that might be a goose.
  • Another feature that can be looked into is the bill and the nostril’s position.
  • The colour is also a typical feature to distinguish between a goose and a duck. Geese are normally grey, white or black, while ducks have more additional colours.
  • A goose’s eggs are bigger.

Read More: Chicken Egg vs Duck Egg Taste. Discover how duck and chicken eggs compare in taste, size, and use in this guide!


Are geese ducks? Geese vs ducks: What’s the difference? I guess that it’s easy for you now to distinguish one from another. Let’s observe each by yourself. The actual experience will show you more than you expected.

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