When sounds of their “honking” fill the air, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts look to the sky in search of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis). These remarkable birds have become more common in Georgia.

Although Georgia has established a hunting season for Canada geese, these birds are a protected species under state and federal law and can only be hunted according to Georgia’s migratory bird regulations.

Canada geese fly in a distinctive V-shaped flight formation, with an altitude of more than 3,000 feet for migration flight. The front position is rotated since flying in front consumes the most energy. The maximum flight ceiling of Canada geese is unknown, but they have been reported as high as 29,000 feet.

Each summer, in late June and early July, geese go through a molting process during which they lose their ability to fly until they grow new flight feathers. The lifespan in the wild of geese can reach more than 20 years.