Duck Duck Goose


I am speaking of a Canada goose, to be specific.  This is the time of year these birds become really annoying.  It is their mating and nesting season.  During this time of year they pair up and then stake a claim on some piece of real estate.  Woe be to the cyclist or pedestrian that ventures into their territory.

I have had my share of close encounters of the geese type.  The most violent ones actually have occurred at work.  Years ago, another engineer and I were walking around the parking lots, during lunch.  As we rounded one corner of our usual walk a gander began to display, honking and flapping its wings.  We both backed away from it, but it only became more agitated.  It flew up and pecked me on the top of my head.  I was the smaller of the two engineers and apparently the easier prey.  I got away and only afterwards realized we had been backing away towards the nest.

Another work related incident occurred a year later.  A pair had setup camp right by the main entrance to the building.  After work I came out of the building and there was my boss and another manager standing out in the middle of the parking lot, grinning like fools.  They didn’t say anything, but just stood there, waiting.  Soon enough a gander appeared around the corner, honking and flapping.  This time I got away unscathed, at least by the goose, if not by my management.  One of my female co-workers was not so lucky.  Since then I have found that an umbrella is an effective deterrent.

In the Park geese are also a problem, but I have found that cranking up your bike speed to about twenty miles per hour works pretty well.  In recent years the park has contracted with geese control organization, like Geese Peace.  I remember an early non-violent attempt to detour the geese that involved children’s inflatable killer whale beach toys.  These were anchored in various ponds in hopes of scaring the geese.  The one thing that all geese fear, no matter what its size, is a dog.  In recent years the Park routinely culls the geese during their molting season.  This seems to work the best.

The Canada goose pictured with today’s post seemed to be single, probably a juvenile.  It is swimming on the pond that surrounds the pagoda that is the center of Pagoda Circle in the Park.  Today’s header shows said pagoda.  The grounds have been cleared of last year’s dead vegetation and are ready for spring’s growth.

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