Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Feeder Bird

I added a new bird species to my feeder list when a pair of Canada Geese dropped in to claim their share of cracked corn.  Geese have been nesting in nearby ponds for more than 20 years and I’ve become used to their evening flyovers as they loudly give notice that this area is part of their territory.  This is the first time any have actually landed here.

I heard the honking long before the geese ever touched down in the back yard.  It seems that a loud fanfare is required for every takeoff or landing.  The pair spent a quiet few minutes grazing grass and posing like high class lawn ornaments.

Suddenly the decision was reached to feast on corn and the pair hurried over to partake of that bounty.

Back in the 70’s, I worked as a greenskeeper at the local golf course.  It became fashionable for courses to have one or two pairs of Canada Geese on the grounds.  The course I worked for followed the trend and brought in a mated pair of geese.  In order to keep the geese in place, flight feathers on the female were trimmed to prevent her from flying.  From those two eventually developed a flock of over 50 and it seemed that the entire course was constantly littered with goose droppings.  The course owners regretted ever forcing the original pair to stay.  I get enough mess from the deer and turkey.  I don’t want to add geese to that list.

As a casual visitor, the geese are fine and fun to watch.  One member of the pair would always be on guard while the other ate.  They would periodically switch positions.

The regular feeder visitors were wary of the new arrivals.  Their standard safe distance from a turkey is only half of that given to the geese.

It’s too early to tell if these two will be regular visitors to the feeder.  It might be better if we went back to our original arrangement and our encounters were just the occasional flyby.


  1. A couple of years ago, visiting my dad in his old hometown, where he keeps my grandparents' house for a vacation home, my nieces were up fixing breakfast when they saw the heads of some "velociraptor-like" creature moving through the tall grass of the pasture behind the house. It was Canada Geese!

  2. Hi Victorian Barbarian. I can see the resemblance to velociraptors, especially those depicted in the movie Jurassic Park. I'm sure that was an interesting sight.