Aggressive Geese

April 30, 2013

Before we moved to Portland, I remember an influx of Canadian Geese to the Philadelphia area being a big thing that created popular fodder for local news (i.e. headlines like – Canadian Geese Poop Ruins Kids’ Soccer Tournament or Border Collies in High Demand to Chase Geese Off Runways were all the rage). Ok, so both of those headlines are made up, but you get the gist. (Hey, I got to use my good, old-fashioned Journalism degree with that little exercise, so thanks for indulging me.)

Anyway, Portland has geese, but it seems not to the extent of the Philadelphia area, where they really were seemingly EVERYWHERE…including in our small backyard, the field behind our house, the sports fields, parking lots…really anywhere that had grass…or not. Shockingly, Canadian Geese were one of the few animals that didn’t seem to want to set up shop in our attic in our 120+-year old house in Jenkintown.  I see them in Portland, but I guess there are enough natural settings that I don’t cross them as much in my everyday life as I did back home? Who knows.

In any case, I encountered this little gem as I drove to the gym recently.


See that yellow sign? It says: Caution! Aggressive geese nesting.


See the mom up there on the walk way roof near the tree?

She’s sitting on her nest.

The orange cones?

They are blocking the walk way so you don’t provoke Goose Dad who hangs out on the sidewalk below Goose Mom while she warms the eggs.

The whole set up is fantastic. I love that the facilities folks have STAKED SIGNS and placed orange cones at either end of the walk way to warn employees about the aggressive geese.

It seems most folks travel around the path / heed the warnings (in my very limited observational research, which entails a five-second drive by on the way into and the way out of the gym parking lot.)

However, last week, I did see a poor fella tempt fate and traverse between the cones.

In his defense, the coast looked clear. Goose Mom was sleeping. Goose Dad was no where to be seen. Until the poor fella ventured too close to Goose Mom. He walked UNDER her. Well, Goose Dad was not a fan of that move, screamed and came running from behind the tree with his wings spread. You know the move – the one where they look huge and menacing and you can see their tongues or whatever they have in their mouths. Poor fella, screamed a little (yay for nice days so I had my windows down and could get the sound effects), jumped back, and said, “Whoa, buddy.” He walked backwards between the two orange cones and took the grass instead. This seemed to appease Goose Dad, who’s featured in the picture below.

Moral of this story? Geese can be aggressive. So if you see a sign telling you so, take heed.

Geese 2


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