Saturday, April 7, 2007

Attack Geese

I confess that there is not anything theological about this post. It can be filed under the general heading of "Stuff That Happens In Libraries". Or, in this case, around many buildings in the midwest. I'm not sure what the origins of corporate ponds are, but by constructing so many of them, we have created a marvelous artificial environment for Branta canadensis, the Canadian goose:

Because of our temperate climate in the midwest and disruptions in their migratory routes due to vehicular and air traffic, these geese have become non-migratory, or, as they are often called in the environmental literature, "resident". (Can "entitlement" be far behind? Beware of activist geese forming voting blocks in your area.)

Spring is the time when a young goose's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, so midwesterners everywhere must put up with naked geese cohabiting in their front yards. Or by their front doors, which often happens at our library. Being naturally territorial and stoked on female goose pheremones, the males become quite aggressive this time of year. It is not uncommon for patrons leaving our library to have to suddenly backpedal back inside the library or make a quick dash down the hill toward the parking lot with a goose in hot pursuit. Students attempting to take a shortcut across the quad are often re-routed by the charge of the goose brigade as papa goose comes hurrying out from behind the hedge, hissing and snapping. Goose poop removal is practically a full time occupation for our maintenance crews. We have tried various goose abatement programs from destroying eggs to jumping up and down and yelling to small dogs, but so far, the geese have maintained the upper webbed foot. The best we can do is aim for a policy of segregation, making sure that everybody knows their place:


Jennie Bartholomew said...

We have similar goose populations and problems in the Twin Cities. Have you thought of changes to your landscaping? Geese don't like areas where predators can hide and endanger the nurseries.

Blake Walter said...

I'd love it if there could be a landscaping solution that could solve the problem -- we might have to import some predators, too!

Heather said...

Boy! I thought we had it hard with chipmunks and squirrels constantly setting up residence in our library. At least they don't attack students!