Friday, October 2, 2009

BIRDS Canada Goose

Perhaps one of the most well known water fowl is the Canada Goose. Yes, that is what they are called, although enlightened, they are still Canadian Geese to me!

Whether we hear the A-honk of the male or the hink of the female, we all recognize the V pattern over head when they move in mass to summer quarters in the spring or winter quarters in the fall.

In Minnesota, from early spring, the geese are seen in groups with their young. At a restaurant called Patrick's in Longville, the geese are outside the windows, bathing, eating, while a few take sentry duty. It is not known if they leave in the fall, what is known is where people feed them, they foul lawns, golf courses and public lands. In other words, they poop everywhere.

We only know the difference of the sex by their size. It is said the smallest of the species flies the farthest north. When we say north, we mean well into northern Canada.

The geese made a feed and rest stop between Lawrence and Eudora, KS each fall and spring. There was a pond for water and preening, and plenty of grain to energize them for their trip. It was worth the trip just to look at them with their black head and neck with the white chin strap. One of the wonders of nature is species, such as the Canada's are always marked the same.

One time we counted 25 chicks swimming in a row behind a parent with the other adult taking up the rear. Certainly they must be nieces and nephews, as it is well beyond the normal clutch of 4-7 eggs. Dick, who has a marvelous lawn at the lake, is certain all 27 pooped in his yard. We bought him a gallon of goose deterrent to spray on his yard.

We have seen them on the edge of the water eating the wild rice and swimming in schools as well as practice flights for the new fledglings. The sound makes us look, no matter how high up they might be.

Be assured if the dock and landing is covered with goose poop one has a very slippery and stinky launch. They are not toilet trained.

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