A flock of Canadian Geese hang-out in the morning on a field next to my daughter’s school. They stick to the far end of the field away from the commotion of all the children, buses, and cars. The other day after volunteering in my daughter’s class I decided to walk over and get some pictures.
As soon as I started walking towards them they stopped their leisurely pecking or grazing, straightened their necks and turned their attention towards me. They are the MOST dapper birds with long swan like necks and plumage like a well tailored suit. As I got closer the large group of about twenty began to move away from me in 3 separate groups trying to maintain a comfortable distance between them and me almost as if we were magnets of the same pole.
The small groups straightened their necks and pointed their beaks and bodies as if synchronized. I was losing my hope of getting close to this very private group of birds so I just started snapping and trying to move faster but with less movement all while trying to avoid eye contact.
Then they started honking, waddling a little faster and testing their wings. These large birds had finally has enough and took off in flight making lots of racket in the process, flapping and honking. They circled back a few times as I made my way back across the field avoiding goose poop the whole way.
- Some geese migrate but some don’t and non-migratory geese are on the rise (we see them year-round here).
- They eat mostly vegetation like seaweed and grass and sometimes small creatures like worms
- They fly in a V formation the one in the front flies the lowest with the heartiest birds taking turns at the point (an advantage being reduction of wind resistance)
- They mate for life and are equal partners in parenting and nest building and nest protection.
- Strangely there is a correlation between birds that mate for life and birds that are difficult to visually differentiate genders!