Guest Author - Kimberly Weiss
The most popular bird among Bellaonline readers is, I think, the Canada goose. Articles about Canada geese always get a lot of hits, and when I get questions from readers, they are usually about--you guessed it--Canada geese. I got two this week.
The first question concerned a goose who was approaching a man and hissing at him. The man was very nice to the goose, even feeding it, but the goose hissed anyway. He (the man, not the goose) wanted to know if the goose would attack.
Geese are territorial animals, and will show aggression towards anyone who comes too close to their nest. Usually, they merely put on a show, hissing and flapping their wings. Occasionally, they will jump on someoneís head. A professional ďkayak anglerĒ was recently knocked out of his canoe by a white farm goose who had been friendly to him for an hour beforehand. The goose suddenly got sick of him fishing in his territory, I guess. (You can see this video on YouTube. The angler was unhurt, and itís very funny, in a YouTube sort of way).
According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife, some people are repeatedly attacked by geese every time they have to enter a building. Because a goose is toothless and light, the goose itself canít do much damage to an adult. Injuries occur when a person running from a goose trips or bumps into something.
The wildlife experts of Ohio recommend maintaining eye contact at all times if a goose is behaving aggressively. Donít shield your eyes, try to fight the goose, or run away. The goose will interpret those actions as being hostile. If the goose flies at your face, turn at a 90 degree angle, but still try to look at the goose as you do so.
If you are a facility manager who has an attack goose in front of your office, the Department of Wildlife warns that some of your employees will be mad if you need to relocate the goose nest. You must remind them that some of their coworkers are being attacked every day and to show compassion for them. Also point out that when the goose victim sues for a million dollars, it could be the your jobs, goose-lovers, thatís eliminated to save the company money. (OK, that last bit came from me, not from the Ohio Wildlife publication. But thatís what everyone is thinking, Iím sure).
Anyway, my readerís goose didnít seem to have a nest or mate. I donít think that particular bird will attack, but it does happen, so be prepared.
My next e-mail was about a goose who was sharing a nest with a duck. Fortunately, this goose seemed to be very sweet.
Ducks and geese do share nests occasionally. Checking some message boards, I found that even as I write this there are at least two mixed waterfowl nests, one in Wisconsin, and one in Buffalo. The reason for this is because waterfowl are precocial, meaning they donít need a lot of care as babies. So, since they will more or less hop right out of their egg and swim away, thereís no harm in sharing a nest with another species.
Keep your goose questions coming! And if you get attacked by a goose at work, go to human resources and complain. The goose may be sexually harassing you or even discriminating against you. You know what goes on in some of those offices!