Friday, April 1, 2011

Stay at Home Geese

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2001. All rights reserved.

A flock of Canada geese honking overhead captures my attention, and I think, "There's a sure sign of spring."

But wait! I've been watching that same flock, or one quite similar, fly overhead for most of the winter. And I remember seeing large gatherings of these birds on cornfield stubble, on golf courses and even some folks' lawns in January.

Idaho lies along the migration routes of many waterfowl, but most birds keep moving south toward the promise of warmer temperatures and open water. So, what are these Canada geese doing hanging around?

One of the most spectacular changes in the bird world in the last quarter of the 20th century, according to ornithologists, is the sudden appearance of "tame" Canada geese in suburban North America. In a recent Cornell Backyard Bird Count, the Canada Goose was the "most-seen bird" of 419 species reported in North America; more than 360,000 of them were counted. More common than sparrows!

Continued at... Stay at Home Geese

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
The Nature Pages
Artwork: Canada Geese on Lake