The protective nature of the Canada goose

The past couple of years, Canadian geese seem to be following me.

At Care2 and at my home in Redwood Shores, the geese were literally everywhere. While walking the sidewalks, you had to dodge stepping in geese poop (and they poop a lot), when going anywhere you had to give yourself a little bit of extra time because you never knew when geese crossing the road would literally stop traffic for several minutes, and there’s also the noise they make — which can be annoying.

One of the first things I noticed when pulling up to my new job at The Engage Group in Maryland were the geese that have chosen to call that area of Columbia, Maryland home.

While I didn’t see many geese in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, when I came to look at the townhouse I’m now renting I saw a big flock of geese hanging out in the pond right near the entrance. While I was excited to see them, I was a little worried about the geese poop. The good news is that the geese tend to stay around the pond and don’t venture much into the townhouse area.

There were many evenings at Care2 where I would get done at work and come downstairs and sit and watch the geese for quite awhile. One thing I noticed quite a bit and was just reminded of earlier today was the protective nature of geese. Almost every flock of geese I’ve ever seen has always had some sort of “lookout” — especially if there are younger geese around.

When I would get stuck waiting for the geese to cross the street in Redwood Shores, there always seemed to be a goose or two serving as a crossing guard while the others crossed.

The geese also tend to have some sort of warning that differs from their normal noise they create. When I would geese-watch after work on those days, the geese would only let me get so close (and I would never try to feed them) before sounding the alarm and gathering all the goose around them to walk away.

I tend to live a fairly solitary life most days, but I wonder what it would be like to live in a community like the geese. To have another person constantly watching out for me and sounding an alarm if any danger were coming too close and shuffling me out of the way.


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