Goose Confrontation

GooseBeginning yesterday, I developed a sore throat and a slight fever. Today, it worsened and a goose attempted to attack me. All of this surprised me! First, it’s summer time; why would I be sick? Second, I thought geese were nice birds. I have written a creature feature on the Canada Goose before, but I didn’t write about their aggression. Here’s the story. After my interview, I bought some medication and went home for a quick lunch. I was heading toward to the St. Jerome’s building and I wanted to try a different, possibly faster route. After a few minutes of walking, I saw a street with cars driving by and I thought that there are not supposed to be any roads, so I turned back. I noticed that I’m tight on time, so I began jogging. Yes, despite my slight headache and sore throat, I jogged.

It is nesting season for the geese and apparently, they are very aggressive at this time. I saw a few geese families as I was jogging towards them. One family was particularly close to the walkway and as I was approaching, it hissed loudly opening its mouth. It performed a hostile maneuver, so I slowed down to walking pace. I was trying to avoid a confrontation, as I know these birds are only trying to protect their goslings. Even though I was walking, it suddenly began to hiss and sprint towards me. At that time, I had to make a decision; fight or flight. I could’ve shown the goose my physical superiority by performing a roundhouse kick to its head, but perhaps because that would be inhumane (it has a family to care for) or maybe because I was simply feeling weak, I fled. I’ve heard of stories about aggressive geese, but experiencing it is much more exciting.

I did some searching on their aggressive behaviour and it looks like it is common. During nesting season, it’s best to avoid the geese. They actually attack adults, children, and other animals! Even when jogging, it’s probably best to slow down ahead of time to avoid hostile confrontations. In addition, feeding the geese will make them more tolerable to urban environments in which they will be closer to humans, leading to more attacks. Their droppings also contain parasites and can cause health problems. Overall, geese are interesting birds, but they can sometimes be annoying.

An example of a goose attack:
YouTube – Doug Gets Attacked by Goose
[coolplayer width="240" height="160"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzafIR1GNIM[/coolplayer]

Sources:
Canada Geese: Sounds of Spring
Chicago Sun-Times – Worker gets $17,000 check in goose attack Delivery man was hurt on
Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Wildlife – Canada Goose Conflicts
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Living with Wildlife – Canada Geese




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