Honk, honk! Seeking Protection? Look to the Geese! (Or, ask any mallard.)
From National Geographic, there is this piece about what excellent "guard" animals geese make due to their superior vision, hearing and protection skills.
I can personally attest to this:
When walking on the Central Park Reservoir, thousands of people are walking and running beside me. But, the geese can recognize, pick me out and come from more than a football field away.
Geese possess incredible vision and recognition skills -- far greater than a dog.
It is no surprise that geese make excellent "guard" animals -- just ask any mama mallard!
"Be of Good Cheer"
In these days of mostly demonizing articles on geese, it is refreshing to occasionally stumble upon something that attempts to be informative and fair.
Such is the case with this column:
While one can question a few points, most of this article is accurate -- especially the part about geese bonding for life and usually not taking a new mate if one dies (as witness recent case with "Papa" goose who did not take on new mate when losing Mama this past year).
One suspects the writer did not wish to go into the entire sordid history of humans nearly hunting geese to extinction in the last century, then artificially "restoring" population through captive breeding and release programs and finally killing geese en masse due to false claims of "overpopulation." But he does touch on some of this.
All in all, a positive, decent and informative piece on geese -- especially the ending:
"The next time county residents see the majesty of a migrating flock of Canada Geese in their familiar V-shaped pattern, remember how determined and devoted these birds are to the family unit. And be of good cheer, heartened that the cycle of life continues for another year."
Yes, the geese could certainly use a little more "good cheer" and kindliness from humans.
And yes, the cycle of life continues for another year -- providing USDA WS doesn't show up with their boats, crates and mobile gas chambers.
Van Courtlandt Park -- 2013 Poster Child for Goose Cruelty and Mismanagement. (Score this One for the Geese.)
Today on (27) GooseWatch NYC and (61) Call of the Canada Geese, one can find a photo taken at Van Courtlandt Park yesterday (July 25).
The photo shows several dozen Canada geese peacefully grazing.
But, it is only a couple of weeks ago, that USDA WS captured and sent to slaughter 27 geese from this same New York City (Bronx) park:
Had the 27 geese previously there been left alone, it is likely they would have chased off the several flocks of newly arrived geese as geese are territorial.
So, instead of fewer geese, Van Courtlandt Park now has more geese!
It has long been established that when you wipe out an otherwise established and adaptable species, new members of that species move in and take over the then available and empty space (assuming nothing is done to change habitat).
That is apparently what has occurred at Van Courtlandt Park.
Tax money down the drain and 27 geese needlessly slaughtered.
One can question why 27 geese were considered such a "problem" in a large park that they needed to be targeted for massacre?
One can question why 40 or 50 geese are better?
But, in the end, the questions are virtually meaningless after the fact.
Let us just name Van Courtlandt Park as the "2013 Poster Child for Goose Cruelty and Mismanagement."
For the moment, a few dozen geese are happy and certain park, USDA and NYC officials once again, have egg on their faces.
Score this one for the geese. -- PCA