Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Goose Bomb"

(Photos:  The migratory geese apparently already leaving, Buster and few resident geese at Harlem Meer remain.)
"Biologists confirm that lots of migrators are getting whacked going back to nesting grounds due to extended hunting."
The above line is from an important article out today questioning the reasons for the "goose bomb." -- Alarmingly low numbers of migratory Canada geese along parts of the Atlantic flyway.
But, should we really be questioning this, considering the all out "war" that has been declared and waged against the geese for some years now?
Wars usually have consequences -- among them, decimation or extermination of a species.
The fact is, we are rounding up and killing geese in urban areas during the summer and shooting them in rural locations throughout most of the rest of the year. 
And when we aren't gassing or shooting or sending to slaughter the geese, we are "harassing" them or destroying their eggs.
What does that leave to adapt to predations, survive and procreate?
According to the article (due to the warmer winter), some migratory geese are already starting to fly north to return to breeding grounds.
But, due to expanded hunting throughout most of the country, many of these migrating geese will serve as targets for hunters and be blown out of the skies.
That is already apparent with the numerous goose hunting articles appearing over the past few months, many of which, like this one, bemoan the lower numbers of geese to shoot at.
From personal observance, it does seem that some migratory geese are already starting to move.
The migratory geese at Harlem Meer since early December have seemingly moved on over the past week.
The week was unusually warm and more typical of what one would expect in late February or early March -- the times migratory geese usually start on their long journeys north.
I don't of course know for sure where the migratory geese who were at Harlem Meer for almost two months went.
But, the resident geese are still there, leading one to speculate that with the unusually warm weather, the migratorys might indeed have taken off for early migration.
If that be the case, then I greatly fear for the migratory geese being that goose hunting is still open in New York state and elsewhere.
It could be that the only "break" the geese have experienced is these past couple of months in Central Park.
Certainly, that is the way it appears to be.
The dozens of geese observed and enjoyed at Harlem Meer since December are the most geese I have seen in Central Park for more than a year.
At other times the resident geese were harassed or just don't exist in Central Park in any appreciable numbers.
As written in this journal throughout the year, there were many occasions I could not find any geese in Central Park at all.
Perhaps that is why I have been on such an emotional "high" since the start of winter and it became almost like a religious ritual to visit Harlem Meer each day.
I feel there are so few opportunities anymore to experience and learn about the geese, that it is imperative to take full advantage of the few opportunities while they still exist.
And so yes, the past 7 weeks have been like some sort of banquet or rare blessing.
But, at the moment, even that is changing.
A couple of night ago, when arriving at Harlem Meer, I could not at first see any geese on the water.
My heart sank and I wondered if harassment had occurred?
But, when walking around the lake, I found a few small gaggles.
And that is the way it has been since then.
The migratorys have seemingly left.
It is now Buster and his gaggle, along with Daffy and family and perhaps a few other geese (or what I believe to be the resident geese of Harlem Meer) who still remain.
But, I wonder how long Buster and his friends will be left in peace?
The advance of spring will bring with it, the beginnings of harassment even at Central Park.
"Lots of migratorys are getting whacked going back to nesting grounds due to extended hunting."
Yes.  And when we aren't blasting the geese out of the skies, we are gassing, sending to slaughter or sending them directly into the hells of our tailored made massacres.
"Goose bombs" and wars is the accurate terminology.
But, then do we really need to question why the overall population is alarmingly low?
Its like throwing a bomb into a building and then asking, "What happened to all the people?"  -- PCA

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