Why Are the Geese So Happy?
Canadian Geese at Kershaw Park in Canandaigua. NY

I took at short walk on the City Pier in Canandaigua, NY late one afternoon last week. The temperature was 23 degrees but the winds were calm. There was a great gathering of Canadian geese on the north end of Canandaigua Lake. Some were happily swimming in the open water; others were sleeping on the ice just beside the open water. Perhaps they sense that winter is for the most part over here in the Finger Lakes and that spring is just around the corner. Soon they will be nesting and starting a new generation of geese.

Canadian Geese Resting On the Ice

The more that I think about it, the more I have become convinced that there are many reasons that these geese are so happy and it is not just the anticipation of family life this summer:

  1. The New York hunting season for geese closed on January 15th in the Finger Lakes so man is certainly no longer a threat to them until next September 1.
  2. There is plenty of food for them in the Finger Lakes due to all of the grain that is raised here during the summer months – like corn and soybeans.
  3. The Canadian goose chooses just one partner and then sticks with that partner the rest of their lives (click here).
  4. They mate just once a year. Nesting season will soon begin.
  5. They truly are an international bird and they don’t have to worry about a green card or visa to fly back and forth between the United States and Canada.
  6. They don’t have TV or the internet messing with their heads.
  7. Their schooling is brief – about one year for the young males who leave the clutch and join a group of young males (click here).
A Pair of Geese Landing at Kershaw Park

The geese seemed to have gained a winning hand in their struggle for survival and from what I can determine there are some things that we (man) can learn from them!

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