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This morning while waiting for the school bus to pick up my son, I heard the familar honking of Canada geese. I am used to seeing the local flocks of 10 or so geese flying from the Housatonic River in the center of town to the pond near our house, or onto the wide lawns of the private school just around the corner.

So I looked just above the horizon in the direction of the sound, but saw nothing. I kept looking around for the familiar V formation of flying geese, but still nothing. Finally I looked directly overhead and there they were—a large group, in a V of course, but way up in the sky, much higher than I usually see them. A second group at the same height passed over a minute later. The geese—at least some of them—are heading north to their breeding grounds in Canada. A sure sign that spring is on the way.

The Canada goose is a large, handsome bird with its distinctive markings, and is extremely common in North America. It is also somewhat of a pest, occupying open fields and parks, and leaving droppings everywhere. Because of the abundance of food, the Canada goose has adapted to suburban life and many no longer migrate very far south in the winter. It has become a year-round resident where I live, despite the cold weather we can get.

Because of the mess the Canada goose makes, towns or private property owners make efforts to keep the geese away. Some places have people bring trained herding dogs, such as border collies, to periodically chase away the geese. Other places have plastic coyote decoys placed around the property, since coyotes are predators of the geese. None of these approaches are terribly effective and most people I know have just gotten used to cleaning their shoes after a visit to a grassy park.

For more information and cool facts on the Canada goose, visit All About Birds.

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Do you mean egrets or geese?

Coz our geese at home do not fly in the sky. Your pics show that they do fly. Right?

Anyway, when they are in the sky, they look small and fragile maybe. But, the pic at lower right side shows a huge goose. Then I understand why the local residents or property owners dont like them meandering and pecking around.

We have some beautiful white crane in the country farm lands. They look pretty and don't seem to do harms to the locals.

I definitely mean geese. The Canada goose is not domesticated, unlike farm geese.

We also have egrets/herons. There is a marshy pond near my house and occasionally we see a great blue heron fishing there.

Geese do not migrate through my town, so I think of them as very exotic.  I am fascinated when I see them in the Northeast at my inlaws' house or anywhere else. Most of my friends think of them as pests, but I think I would relish their beauty and charm if they swung through my backyard every year.  

Love

I have a really funny story about decoy coyotes. I used to work at an obscure division of a famous children's publisher, and we had our share of Canada geese hanging around our office park. So the maintenance group and the powers-that-be got together and decided to put a few coyote decoys around. This being publishing, where money is tight, instead of life-size plastic ones, they purchased flat laminated cardboard ones. Needless to say,. the decoys were completely ineffective.

Then one day I was driving into work and noticed that the cardboard coyote was gone. In its place was a cardboard cutout of a Canada goose with a coyote dangling from its mouth. smiley The prank, created by someone with superior graphic skills, upset management quite a bit. But the employees thought it was very clever.

The cardboard coyotes disappeared, and plastic decoys soon replaced them. The geese continued to make themselves at home on the lawn.