Canada Goose

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A procession of geese I photographed last year

Spring and early summer is a time when you may see waterfowl crossing the road in front of your car.  Much of the time, this will be Canada Geese.  These big birds are rather numerous, and have adapted well to living near humans.  Think of all of the apartment and corporate ponds you’ve seen with them hanging about.  They can eat grass, so a pond with a lawn looks like home to them.  As their numbers grow, they are more and more considered pests in these settings.  I guess they are to be blamed for moving into great real estate that people unwittingly create for them.

The main reason you may see geese in the road is when they are walking their young to prominent waterways.  Goslings may not be flying yet, so their parents will dutifully escort them with a watchful eye to a river, reservoir or pond from their nesting areas in fields.

Typically at least once a year I get to see a goose parade crossing the road.  I’m happy to say that most drivers (who are not always patient) restrain themselves and allow the geese to cross the road.  The following pictures were taken on a recent May morning as I was driving out to a park to do some birding.  And of course I had a camera handy.  I stopped, put my flashers on and crossed my fingers.

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I always wonder if the parents are confident that cars will stop for them or not.

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 One parent at the rear seems to ‘goose’ a laggard gosling into moving faster.

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These goslings were sort of a mini-herd of a couple of broods, parents having escort duty…

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…and these older goslings, looking like smaller dusty versions of their parents, followed.

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After the final open lane’s traffic cleared (they knew to stop when a car sped by), all the geese made it to the other side of the road.

Knowing how fellow drivers are not always reasonable beings, I was glad that nobody ran over these birds.  Now if they don’t need to cross too many more roads, they’re set!