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How Many Hours Do Geese Sleep? Unravel The Mystery Here!

How Many Hours Do Geese Sleep? Anywhere you find a pond or a lake, or even a river, you can generally find geese. If you own land, with water you can raise geese or ensure conditions attract them. 

Geese are beautiful creatures to watch and do lend a nice touch to the outdoors. They can be a bit mystifying, however, as they have odd behaviors, such as sleeping and eating habits that are hard to define. 

While there are about 75 different types of geese worldwide, in the USA and North America the two most common types are the Domestic Goose and Canadian Goose.

Females are actually called Geese while males are called Ganders. 

Telling males from a female can be difficult as most species look alike in coloration with the males being slightly more colorful but only during mating season. 

Many geese are pure white, and these are usually domestic. Wild geese, such as Canadian geese are brown/black/grey marl. 


How Many Hours Do Geese Sleep? 

Geese do not sleep they nap multiple times every 24 hours cycle. Geese can sleep in a way where they are “half-asleep” only with one eye open for predators. This is called uni-hemispheric sleep. Hence, geese can sleep on land in the same spot each night and sleep while swimming, flying, and curled up.   


How Many Hours Do Geese Sleep?

How Many Hours Do Geese Sleep?


Geese Do More Napping Than Sleeping

If you own geese or they have made your waterway their home, you will see them with their head tucked into their wings countless times each day.

They will waddle to land, or simply do this while swimming. 

But check their eyes as you will see that one eye at least will be partially opened. This was addressed before and it is rational to say that geese do not sleep the way humans or other animals do.

Geese sleep with one of their eyes open or partially open

Geese sleep with one of their eyes open or partially open

This napping occurs whenever they feel unthreatened and occurs many times per 24-hour period. 

Geese also feed constantly and having one eye open allows them to jump on food whenever they spy something edible.

There is enough food usually around waterways for geese to eat but many individuals enjoy feeding them. However feeding geese need to be done cautiously even if you own some. 


Geese Can Be Aggressive with Food and Sleep

Even when they seem to be asleep they are aware of food sources and predators. Especially with children, geese that feel threatened by being approached can become aggressive and nip harshly. 

If they are in their “half-sleep” even approaching to feed them can be seen as an act of aggression and they will respond in kind. 

When you feed geese while they're half asleep, they can interpret this as an act of aggression and attack you

When you feed geese while they’re half asleep, they can interpret this as an act of aggression and attack you

If they become used to humans they might even chase children and adults who have food, so feeding geese should be done from a distance and with one of your own eyes open for potential aggression. 


5 Ways to Ascertain How Long Geese Sleep


Look for a Tucked Head into the Wings

This is their way of shutting down and even if not in a full sleep they are comfortable and should not be bothered.

Geese tuck their head into their wings when they sleep

Geese tuck their head into their wings when they sleep

This is the deepest sleep geese have and they can be floating on the water while not padding while in a deep sleep. 

They do not fly when in a deeper sleep nor do they sleep in a nest. Clusters of geese may destress completely in this manner and enjoy total sleep. 


Untucked Heads Mean Uni-Hemispheric Sleep 

Approaching geese that are not treading water or waddling on land can lead to aggression on their part.

Geese startle easily and startled geese go on the defensive. Geese are clumsy and they know it so become aggressive easily as they are easy prey for predators.

If the geese have untucked heads, this means they're in uni-hemispheric sleep

If the geese have untucked heads, this means they’re in uni-hemispheric sleep

Goose attacks are not uncommon. 


Geese Do have Nests and Eggs and Rest by Them

Although geese do not sleep in the nest, they rest in uni-hemispheric sleep while protecting the nests and eggs.

Males and females can be doing this together and geese do not roost like other birds. 

They do not make nests in trees so when on the ground they might be sleeping or just doing “guard duty” for the eggs.

Geese rest in a uni-hemispheric state of sleep when they're guarding their nest and eggs

Geese rest in a uni-hemispheric state of sleep when they’re guarding their nest and eggs

Chickens and ducks, as well as swans also do not roost and you can experience a riled-up rooster, a male duck, or a swan attack. 


Geese Love the Same Spots to Nest and Sleep

If you notice that geese are in the same spots each day, this can be considered their safe place for sleeping and of course breeding.

It is best to avoid disturbing these spots as geese are creatures of habit and like to stay in one spot they have found for all their breeding and sleeping needs. 

Geese love to rest and nest on the same spots every day

Geese love to rest and nest on the same spots every dayGeese love to rest and nest on the same spots every day

If you see a goose in the same spot each day time how long it is there will give you an idea of how long that goose sleeps each day. 


Watch the Body Language of Geese

This is a dead giveaway into how much a goose is sleeping. Not only do geese tend to sleep in the same spot, but they sleep in the same position all the time. 

Whether facing the water, on the water, or on the ground, each goose will uniquely tuck its head under the wings, or position its legs differently.

Observing geese routinely each day is the only way to determine their sleep patterns. 


Frequently Asked Questions about How Many Hours Geese Sleep


If I get geese will they be quiet? 

Geese do have quiet periods. They honk for various reasons and even when flying can be heard honking. Canadian geese honk the loudest, especially when flying, but all geese honk. 


Will geese honk if asleep? 

If anything wakes them up at night or while sleeping they will honk out of excitement and alert other geese of probable trouble. It is not a good idea to reside by geese or with geese if you seek peace and quiet and they will not predictably sleep like other domestic pets.


How then can I tell how much geese sleep? 

You cannot as it is not an exact science with the uni-hemispheric sleep and other behaviors that resemble sleep. Keeping geese safe and unstartled will lead them to be more relaxed and quiet and it’s the most you can hope for. 


Conclusion: How Many Hours Do Geese Sleep?

It’s not really possible to tell as geese nap with one eye open continuously. They also graze continuously both on land and water.

A calmer atmosphere that is away from human traffic will keep geese in a deeper sleep more often and that is the best conclusion that can be drawn. 

Researchers have delved into geese routinely and like all waterfowl, they nap rather than sleep but can fall into a deep sleep if the surroundings are calm and quiet.