The Canada Goose – An Animal to Love or Hate?

The answer depends on which side of the border you reside.

I will speak on behalf of all Americans- We`ve all slipped in green poo.

Most of the infamous Canada geese who purportedly fly south for the winter end up in the state of Pennsylvania. My personal belief is that the mixture of corn fields and huge landing pads makes for a perfect goose Nirvana. Majestic when heading south in the V-formation, these super flyers morph once hitting the ground, becoming a different species all together. Something along the lines of a winged, attack dog. I`d rather run up on a flying monkey.

The company I worked for had hundreds of acres of pristine country farmland which  doubled as a much-loved rest stop for the geese. A blinking neon wing unseen to the human eye pointed out this geese oasis. As attractive as a road side Cracker Barrel, most never bothered completing their trip further south and settled in for good with a “This is far enough” mentality. The geese were so overjoyed with these new digs they started producing millions of goslings. They even over ran the rabbit population.

Which if I had my pick, I`d go with rabbits every time as they tend to run away as you walk toward your car versus gathering several buddies to run at you, beaks snapping and gargantuan wings flapping. Oh- That doesn`t sound scary to you? Those gigantic wings tend to get very buffed on the flight down. SO buff in fact, that if you happened to gently lay an arm in the armpit of a goose- it could break it.

Fear not, no need to get up close with a goose in order for it to break an arm. One poor colleague learned the hard way when one of the zombie geese jumped out from behind a parked car hopping and snarling. It scared him so bad he ran into a parked car and broke his arm. True Story. We`re still laughing at him. I mean with him, with him.

These monsters from the North are so ferocious that the Border Collies hired to chase them ran away yelping after a run in or two. The plant manager finally realized that netting over the courtyard would prevent the monthly ritual of the goose parade through the hallways and outside. (Followed closely by the janitorial staff cleaning up the poo as the geese honked and hissed their way through the building) Heaven forbid your office had a window overlooking a nest. Mama would constantly harass the occupant, pecking the window, threatening and pointing-

goose eyes copyAs with many species, the reason they continue to prosper in the state of Pa is that the babies are cute. Even a garbage throwing, Santa Clause booing Philly fan has a hard time running over a family of geese crossing the road.

However, I`ve found a Canada Goose even an American can love.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 10.55.37 AM

I used to laugh at the hood too until the wind froze my nostrils together.

The Canada Goose Parka. An American`s path toward loving the modern-day T Rex.

Living in a climate with temperatures to -70 ? ( C or F- doesn`t matter- it feels the same at that level) This is the coat for you.Technically speaking, it`s a parka. As a person who didn`t own a winter coat until I was 23, this was a nuance of language lost on me.  Without my beloved Canada Goose, I`d be forced underground for 6 months. Since we`ve got to eat, I would have to venture out to the grocery store at least once. Otherwise my alternatives were either a starving family or one living a pioneer life off frozen mushrooms scoured from the basement garage. Emerging from winter with scurvy, mange, and no teeth would undoubtedly color the Offspring`s perspective of Canada toward the negative.

I know, some of the Canadians reading this are calling me dramatic- or histrionic, because they know that one can in fact live an entire winter in Montreal underground. And Further, most Canadians think of the geese as logos since none have ever encountered one live. But those are different topics left for warmer times.

Until winter ends folks- mush on.


Aunt Suzie sent me this after I posted. Looks like the folks in Seattle may feel the same way…








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23 Responses to The Canada Goose – An Animal to Love or Hate?

  1. Barbara Tungate says:

    In Houston, it’s currently 75, heading to 82 with a low tonight of 69…winter nesting grounds for geese and ducks out in Katy have been replaced by mega malls which, I suppose, means more geese and ducks closer to you. Incidentally, the parka shows what your hair will look like when you’re your mom’s age — nice to know in advance.


    • Something to look forward to Barbara- I guess I can get used to the look now!


      • Barbara Tungate says:

        Yet another adjustment. Did I suggest that you read Louise Penny’s beautifully written mystery series set in Montreal and environs? One of the later ones (I think there are seven?) was in Montreal proper during winter. I shivered through every page. Anyway, put ’em on the list when you find time to read again — perhaps in 20 or so years. Best done in order as the characters grow and develop — the first, Still Life, is on cheapo at Amazon as we speak.


      • Thanks Barbara. I`ve got the first one but am having a hard time getting into it. But everyone says they`re great so I`ll push on.


  2. Oh, I LOVE that final photo. So cute of you, dear Emily! To be honest, I didn’t know the issues there are with geese, and I grew up in Pennsylvania. Not really an issue in Pittsburgh. My posts this week and next are also about the animals we love, or hate, as the case may be–full of critter pics–and DOGGY DRAG, by the way.

    Hugs from Ecuador,


  3. Louis Painter says:

    You’re foxy in new jacket and glasses. I had a neighbor in CA once who used some Pet geese successfully as watch-birds. The geese kept intruders out of his back-yard, but drove him, family, and guests to the front-yard for BBQ.

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. Yousei Hime says:

    Even though I lived in Michigan for 24 years, I never had a run-in with geese. They sure can make a mess though. Even grassy areas near rural ponds and such get slimy and gross. Though I did love seeing the little ones trailing after their parents on the way to the water.

    Hope the whole family is adjusting to the move/cultural shift. Was their much of a winter where you lived in Japan? Thanks for the visit and follow.


  5. Bob says:

    I’m only rolling my eyes a little bit at your description of winter. I have had many encounters with Canada geese, they can be ornery varmints. But if you stand your ground they eventually figure out that humans are bigger.

    As for slipping in goose poop it’s supremely gross, it’s impossible to find a golf course without also finding fairways and even greens slathered in the stuff. Ewww


  6. 5thgradecb says:

    Just have to say, I love that selfie!! You are so adorable!!


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  9. thegannans says:

    G’day, I don’t know what happened but if you see this comment twice, I pushed the wrong button.
    It is good to see that the people of Pennsylvania accept the Canada Goose with open fields during Canadas seemingly extreme winters. These birds are so wonderful that they freely fertilize your gardens without even being asked. Another benefit to the South is the extra exercise ones arms and legs get from slipping on the “green stuff”. More importantly is the beneficial cardio exercise one gets from escaping from these “angry snapping, hissing guardians” of their space. Personally I prefer the Goose Down Parker.
    Keep up the good work. Your writing is very descriptive, humorous and at times educational.


  10. Ismail N says:

    I am super ignorant about goose. Didn’t know that goose could be so wild and hilarious!


  11. Ѵachement intéressant, je pense que cе poste devrait intéresser ma gonzesse


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