A lot of people seem to have the belief that birds, like geese, will sleep in nests at night. They do not. Despite many people seeing the idea of a nest as being a ‘bird’s home’, they are not designed to be slept in. We are sure a goose could sleep in their nest, but only when they are rearing their young. So, where do geese sleep? How do geese sleep? Let’s take a look!
Where Do Geese Sleep?
The truth? Geese are going to sleep wherever they feel comfortable sleeping.
Unlike a few other birds, Geese will not roost. This means that it is rare that you will find geese sleeping in a tree. Obviously, this is something that may happen with certain breeds but, for the most part, geese are simply too large to be perched in trees or on anything your normal bird would roost on. It would just be uncomfortable for them.
Wild and domestic geese will have their own way of sleeping. However, you will likely notice that whether you are dealing with a domestic goose or a wild goose, they will almost always choose to sleep in the same position.
Once geese have found a fantastic place to sleep, unless there are extenuating circumstances, they will always return to roost in exactly the same spot. We suppose it is because it makes them feel comfortable.
Where do Wild Geese Sleep?
For wild geese, they will almost always sleep out there on the water. They will just float around a little bit. This is because out on the water, they are going to be out of reach of just about every predator that sees a goose as a tasty little snack.
Obviously, they are not going to be fully protected, but the water should provide them with a nice little alarm system. If a predator tries to swim up on them, the goose is going to have time to react. They are going to be able to swim faster than most things that would attack them in the water.
Where do Domestic Geese Sleep?
A domestic goose is more likely to sleep on land. This is, partly, because they are unlikely to have large amounts of water to sleep in. However, it is likely that the main reason they do this is that they feel a bit more protected.
The chances are pretty high that your geese are going to be in some sort of coop when they are sleeping. This means that they are going to be out of the reach of predators and the like, and thus they do not need to protect themselves as much.
Domestic geese are likely to sleep more out in the open than your typical bird too. This is due to their size. The threats that would normally have an impact on a bird are unlikely to cause any major issue for a goose.
They can fight back surprisingly hard in this situation! That being said, most smaller predators wouldn’t bother coming close anyway. This means that you are less likely to see a domestic goose in a bush or something. They tend to be out there on open land.
Some domestic geese owners may find that their geese fly away overnight, and then return in the morning. If this happens, it is likely that your goose has found somewhere that they love to sleep a short distance from where you live.
This can actually be a little bit scary for first time goose owners as they feel that their geese have left them forever. This is unlikely to happen.
Whether they are domestic geese or wild geese, they will almost always sleep in a group. This not only provides a bit more protection, but will also provide them with warmth.
Oh, and one final point to note; geese can also sleep while they are flying. It is rare, but it happens. Although, we are going to talk more about that in the next section.
How Do Geese Sleep?
Geese, like many birds, have the ability to be half awake at all times. This means that while one half of their brain is ‘switched on’, the other part is having a little bit of a rest.
So, this is why you will often find geese sleeping with ‘one eye open’. It allows them to keep an eye out for predators, even though part of their body is asleep.
Now, this is not something that geese really need to be doing due to their size. You may find that many domestic geese will ‘fully rest’ for long periods of time, but it can happen.
This is actually how geese are able to sleep mid-flight. They can shut their brain off, while flying. This is how geese are so brilliant at migrating. They can travel long periods of time due to this ‘skill’.
Unlike other water-dwelling birds (i.e. ducks), geese are not going to be sleeping standing on one leg. They are too heavy for that. They, instead, scrunch up into a tight ball to help them to retain a little bit of warmth.
As we already said; they tend to enjoy being a bit closer to other geese for all of that additional warmth.
If you have domestic geese and you start to watch them, you will see that they all have different, unique ways of getting to sleep. They are an interesting bird to watch like this.
How Long Do Geese Sleep?
This is going to be dependent on the situation. However, studies have indicated that geese do not actually sleep for that long. In fact, one study found that geese spend about 90% of their day awake. This means that they sleep for a couple of hours at the most.
That being said, they do sleep a bit more during the colder months. This is because there isn’t much to do on the water. Because a lot of their food sources would have been cut off due to the temperature, they also need to conserve energy. This means that your geese may not be active for most of the day, instead opting to huddle close together.