Lotsa loosie goosies.

It has been a while since I regaled you with tales of the Canada Geese I see every day at Council Point Park and/or at larger park venues.

That is because Summertime is molting season for these geese, so they are congregating en masse in park venues with large bodies of water, in the event of land predators lurking about.

The Canada Geese have been missing from Council Point Park since the end of May. I always know their departure is imminent after the adults’ large feathers begin appearing in the grass and pathways. These are their primary or flight feathers and soon thereafter, the geese and their goslings are gone until around Labor Day. Our Council Point Park geese make their exit via the Ecorse Creek for just a quick one-mile trip to the Detroit River at Dingell Park. You can see how the feathers are sparse and a little funky-looking here.

Truth be told, I kind of miss them and their bossiness and histrionics. Even the kids, er … goslings, have issues and attitudes and do their fair share of hissing and wing-flapping at us humans by the time the family departs for their annual sojourn to the River to await their new plumage.

In Summer ’22, an exception occurred as to that River Summer Vacay.

I’ve been walking the pathways at Council Point Park for almost a decade. Once the geese depart, they’re gone for three months. Recently, I was spreading peanuts and seeds under the pavilion roof and chattin’ it up with Parker, who scampered over to feast, (completely bypassing any niceties like begging or nuzzling the toes of my walking shoes), so I was chastising him for his bad manners. A woman was sitting on a nearby picnic table and said “so you’re the person who leaves those mounds of sunflower seeds and peanuts.” “Yes, I’m the Snack Angel” I said, while raising my hand in the air.

I learned she had recently started walking at Council Point Park. She told me “it is so peaceful here. This morning there was a huge group of geese on that cement ledge on the other side.” I admit I was a bit dumbfounded by that statement and said “this morning, really?” She said “yes, I took a picture – I’ll show you” and before I could say “oh, I believe you, I’m just surprised” her phone was out of her pocket and she showed me the photo. I told her I was incredulous as “our” geese are always MIA from this venue June through August and I’ve never seen them here once they depart for the River.

Query: did the geese miss the ducks and turtles, or maybe the squirrels and songbirds? Or the walkers?

By the time I passed that ledge, they were gone. Strange times we live in, even in the critter world.

A gathering of the clan – so where do all the geese go anyway?

In the Summer months, I like slipping down to Dingell Park to watch the freighters and stroll the long boardwalk. That boardwalk eventually dead-ends at a secluded and fenced-in area where boats fuel up. I found a group of geese, no doubt some refugees from Council Point Park. They were busy picking at their feathers.

I was as quiet as possible, but a “lookout goose” spotted me and became anxious and alerted the others. Soon that group paddled out to join a cluster of about 50 geese who were congregating, a safe distance from land. I guess the collective mindset was I was deemed a potential predator, causing each goose to vamoose. They were quite far from shore, so they looked very small. I omitted those photos of them bobbing around as they looked like specks in the water.

It might be like your kin’s annual family reunion … even more so when you see some squabbling going on. Be sure to note the adults’ necks lowered to the surface of the water, (that happens before the hissing begins), plus the gosling is flapping its tiny wings. Canada Geese are definitely drama queens sometimes.

So now that Your Roving Reporter has caught you up on the who, what, when, where, why and how of our feathered friends’ Summer holiday, I have a few photos to share about what the geese are doing on land at Elizabeth Park.

Elizabeth Park is a year-round haven for Canada Geese.

If you like these attractive-looking geese, so named because the Latin species name, canadensis, translates to meaning “of Canada” (though folklore tells us these geese were named for John Canada who discovered the species), then you will enjoy some of the goose family photos and scenarios I have rounded up for you from my visit to that venue over Memorial Day weekend.

The massive population of geese at Elizabeth Park continues to grow in leaps and bounds every Spring. If you have an urge to photograph some goslings, just visit in May and June and you are sure to find some, like these cutie pies I found along the boardwalk.

The parents were nearby lest I try to abscond with one of their darlings.

You’ve heard of a traffic jam – this is a goose jam.

Elizabeth Park is a man-made island, separated from the mainland by a vehicular bridge that crosses the canal. You enter and exit on the one and only road that runs the perimeter of the park. There is a speed limit as there are walkers, with or without pooches, bikers, rollerbladers … and geese, lots of geese. In fact, if you have to be somewhere and exit the park timely, be sure to arrive at your car in plenty of time to allow for goose traffic.

The families cross together causing a bit of a goose jam.

Also, prepare for long hold-ups because sometimes our feathered friends are a wee bit conflicted.

Here the idea is to cross the road from the right side to the left side
Halfway across, they decide to double-back and return to the right side.
Ultimately the signal caller a/k/a Dad decides to implement Plan “A”.

At the time I was walking, not driving, so I had a good opportunity to watch and photograph the antics.

Please don’t feed the geese!

Tossing a few peanuts to the begging squirrels is A-OK, but tossing food to the geese is a no-no in this park. There are signs everywhere, like here at the canal.

But, who can resist the sweet goslings when they toddle after their parents and look you in the eye? Some people bring along bread to toss to them anyway. A gaggle of geese and just a few crumbs of bread is not the equation for a happy situation for everyone as you will see below.

Some geese and goslings were grazing near the road.
Nearby is the “Please DO NOT feed the geese sign.”
A car goes by; a couple of bread chunks are tossed out; the car leaves.
Junior discovers one of the bread chunks.
“Mine, all mine!
I scored a piece of bread and I’m not sharing!”
“I’m outta here, before my brothers and sisters bug me for a bite!”
“Boy, this hits the spot!
I’m soooooo done with grass.”
Dad opens his beak and gives a low hiss at his offspring:
“Time to share your treat with me!”
“Did you hear me son?”
Dad hisses as the gosling beats a hasty retreat.
Ignoring Dad, the gosling is on the move, munching away.

It’s been a fun year for documenting Canada Geese with photos and accompanying narratives, beginning with the goose eggs I discovered on Easter Sunday. Next week’s trek will be about Mallards at picturesque Heritage Park.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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53 Responses to Lotsa loosie goosies.

  1. Oh, my! Goose vamoose and goose jam! Love your choice of words, as well as photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne! Originally I intended to make the goose jam and don’t feed the geese portions as Wordless Wednesday posts, but decided they needed captions which made them funnier and helped explain what was going on. Geese are pretty funny sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne says:

    The problem with feeding bread and biscuits to any birds is that they are high in carbohydrates, low in protein and lack the nutrients the birds would get in their natural diet. All the bird guides I have consulted say much the same thing and urge one to provide ‘natural’ food in garden feeders instead. Having said that, I have enjoyed looking at your photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Anne! The baked goods having no nutritional value cause the geese and ducks to get “angel wing” – their feathers don’t grow correctly, become sparse and they can’t fly. Seeing how their wings stick out with misshapen feathers is a sad sight. When people feed the geese, they never bring enough and it causes problems – in this case the gosling grabbed a chunk of bread and the gander assumed he could take it from his gosling – that didn’t happen and it was funny to watch.

      Like

  3. We are not allowed (fine $500) to feed the geese at our local park. There is a huge pond with a stream running through. Years ago, it was overrun with Canadian geese, then they did something (not sure what) but the population is more like a dozen maybe. I had a couple (two) come visit me about a decade ago. They climbed up on my deck. My old cat Jake looked at them and I swear he said “Ugliest cats I’ve ever seen.” They didn’t hiss at him and he didn’t hiss at them. They took a tour and left for someplace with real food.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s a stiff fine! Maybe if they instituted it at Elizabeth Park, people would stop, although we are allowed to feed them corn as you may recall my “Corn Bowl” post. A lot of people feed the ducks corn there all year around. A fellow blogger lives in Tofino, British Columbia. He sent me a link to an article from Victoria, B.C. – they have a lot of beautiful parks being overrun by Canada geese. So their suggestion was to go to the goose’ nest(s), swap fake eggs for real ones. They wait until the goose steps off the nest and make the switch. I don’t see doing that – the mother goose is not stupid and knows fake eggs from real one, but that is their solution.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You are becoming a solid source of bird info Linda! I didn’t know the geese were named after some guy with the same name as Canada? Tell me the guy was at least CDN?
    Great shots as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That is what I have heard and read Wayne – now whether it is folklore or the truth, I don’t know. The Latin name for this goose translates to Canada as well, but on one of the interpretive trips I took, one of the factoids was about this naturalist named John Canada.

      Glad you liked the shots – I originally was going to make two Wordless Wednesday posts out of the “goose jam” and “Please Don’t Feed the Geese” but decided I needed to explain a little.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. peggy says:

    My goodness -geese and more geese. Geese of all sizes. What a wonderful post. I can tell you had a great time on this walk. Thanks for sharing the Loosies Gooosies. Ha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad to give you a laugh while you enjoyed the walk Peggy. The geese are all over Elizabeth Park and it is really funny when they jam up the street as there is only one way around and on/off the island and that is on that street. They take their sweet time. I was there yesterday and now the goslings are grown and between them and the ducks, they were everywhere in the canal and some kayakers looked like they couldn’t get past them. I took some pictures for a post to use in a few months. The geese are bull-headed on land and in the water.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. LaShelle says:

    I LOVE geese. The wild ones are territorial and grumpy but they have the most amazing personalities. I want to add more to our farm than just Maple but for now she’s sunshine to me day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laurie says:

    Great geese photos, Linda. Maybe those geese who were MIA actually missed YOU!!! (And the treats you bring, of course.) I thought of you when Bill and I were running along the Columbia River in Spokane Washington. There were some geese beside the narrow path and one goose right on the path. There was no way to avoid them. We got hissed at on the way out and the way back! Scary!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Laurie. Now that is a funny thought and that never crossed my mind! Those geese never return early and the fact that they swam to this Park from the River just boggles my mind. I know that woman probably wondered why I was so astounded by her picture. Those geese do not like their routines interrupted, so I can imagine them hissing at you. The geese are funny because they always think they have the right of way. Yesterday I was at this same park and there were even more geese than I saw here on Memorial Day weekend when I took these pictures. Now all those goslings are grown and I got some pictures for a future post wherein there were so many geese (ducks too) in the canal, that some kayakers were coming toward them and the geese didn’t want to move move. As the kayakers were ready to pass under bridge where I was taking the photos, I asked if they worried who had the right of way as the geese did not want to budge. The guy and gal both answered “yes!”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Zazzy says:

    I’ve heard that people who feed the geese can cause a vicious stampede of geese where some people can actually get hurt. I’ve never seen it so it may be an urban myth. Lovely photos and stories of your wildlife adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Oh that is true Zazzy – it happened to me when I first started walking at Council Point Park! Glad you liked the photos and stories Zazzy. I was going to do Wordless Wednesdays with the three different geese stories but decided they needed explanation so expanded them. Well this happened to me with a stampede of geese. Back then I didn’t know that feeding bread and baked goods to birds was harmful to them and could cause angel wing and stunt their feather growth. So I got some bread to feed the ducks and geese at the Park. I saw no ducks, so I gave all the bread, which I had torn up into bite-sized chunks, to a group of geese. They finished up the bread and I had the empty bag in my hand but they wanted more and then more geese saw there were treats, so they came over and I was there on the path with a large bunch of geese coming toward me. Luckily I was not the only walker that day – a few women were walking so I ran over to them and said “I’m going to slide on in here with you and lose the geese” as they want more bread. I didn’t give them time to say “no” – I just did it. That was the first and last time I did that trick. It was like a stampede of geese coming toward me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………..thank you for sharing your wealth of Canadian pictures…………………..I enjoyed it because by our small pond we hardly have seen any geese so far this summer………I call it our Duck Pond…………………..BUT…………………….just yesterday there have been many geese enjoying our apartment waters

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joni says:

    I never knew that about the name Linda. I always thought they were called Canadian geese because they originated in Canada…..and now they are everywhere! Great story telling and photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the story and photos Joni. I was going to make them Wordless Wednesday posts, but I thought they needed captions so used them like that. Geese are funny if you are around them long enough to notice. That is a story I heard from one of the interpretive guides one time. Before COVID, I took maybe four or five of their guided tours plus the two boat trips so I learned a lot of facts and on the boat trips they had show-and-tell about Lake Erie and the small islands in the Detroit River.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I was fascinated by the picture of the geese with their necks lowered to the surface of the water. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that behavior before, nor having them hiss from the water. I do see plenty of hissing when they’re walking around on land, though. Will have to keep my eyes open. You’re lucky to have so many goslings to photograph in the spring. 🙂 Their little faces look so full of curiosity. Imagine being a goose parent and having to teach the little ones how to cross the road, especially when the parents can’t decide the best method themselves. 😉 Oh dear, bread is terrible food for geese! If people really want to feed them it’s better to offer birdseed, cracked corn or vegetable peels. Border collies have been hired around here to chase Canada geese off the golf courses — I wonder if that’s done in your area, too? Very nice post, Linda! Love all the goose personalities you highlighted with your wonderful narrative. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Barbara, they get into fights with one another “just like that” (snapping fingers). 🙂 They will be swimming along companionably and I’m taking pictures of them and next thing I know, I see the necks lowered to the water and the pink tongues flapping up and down. I guess they can’t flap their wings, so lowering the neck is the next best thing. Then they are buddies again a few minutes later.

      There are a lot of goslings here at this park. Last year I visited in May and found one family in the water and took photos and thought to myself “no more goslings?” I looked around and then I went to the other side of one of the smaller bridges that crosses the canal and found a huge group of geese, with many smaller groups of goslings in various stages of growth. I took pictures but there were so many geese and goslings they all kind of blurred together.

      I was at Elizabeth Park this past Sunday and got some fun pictures which I’ve not looked at yet, but there were so many geese in the canal that a pair of kayakers looked perplexed if they could pass them. Crossing the street that runs around the park is always a problem, no matter the season. The geese always get the right of way. I don’t think there are goose crossing signs here, but there are duck crossing signs. I never see ducks crossing the street though.

      That’s a good idea using border collies to chase them away from the golf courses – it is humane as they are leaving on their own volition once the dog starts prowling around. More humane than some other methods used.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t help wondering if the geese might be overpopulated in your parks, contributing to their frequent spats. I think I would be pretty nervous getting too close to a flock of them swimming around if I was in a kayak!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That makes sense Barbara – there are a lot of geese in this park. They have plenty of room to wander on land, but unless they stay along the Detroit River, it does get congested in the canal as it is not that wide. I don’t know how to swim, so I wouldn’t climb into a kayak or canoe, but yes, even a skilled swimmer might be a bit worried in a light kayak and facing that feathered crowd who aren’t wont to yielding to humans.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. You have a great collection of Canada geese, Linda! We called them Canadian Geese when we lived in Sacramento. They are very territorial, as evidenced by them chasing me back in the day when I did my jogs through a nearby park. All human food is terrible for geese and most wildlife because of the salt content. The geese wintered in the Northern California bird sanctuaries, and it was always amazing to see and hear thousands of them squawking and honking in the sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I really enjoy watching the geese Terri – they have distinct personalities and yes, they are very territorial at the Park where I walk daily. I always go around the goslings to avoid a confrontation with a gander, but I still get the hissing and wing-flapping anyway. I go to two different large parks where people feed the ducks and geese corn every day and the geese see those vehicles and will flock over for a meet-and-greet-and-eat with those folks. I watched Pekin Ducks nuzzle the knees of a couple that feed them every day around 1:00 p.m. Just like Lassie, they came up the hill from the canal and were wandering by the roadway before they arrived – an internal clock I guess. I find it amazing to see them passing overhead too and always look up at them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You have the same kind of bird relationships that Wayne has with his eagles, So amazing, Linda! Just shows us how smart our feathered friends really are!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I do Terri. Like Wayne, I enjoy having a trusting relationship with a wild animal. Since I started feeding sunflower seeds to the critters a few years ago (along with the peanuts) at the park where I walk everyday, I have an assortment of birds, including a Red-Bellied Woodpecker who come to greet me or will swoop down when I’ve barely stepped away. I feel like Snow White sometimes. I have a favorite squirrel, Parker (you’ll see him in tomorrow’s WW post) and he is my favorite (and he knows it).

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Yay, what a delightful post about your geese-Capades (my made-up term). I love the line ‘causing each goose to vamoose!’ I chuckled out loud – Very clever. Great photos, I bet it was hard to choose which ones to use. Feeding them bread is as bad as feeding humans tooooooo many of the wrong carbs, it is bad for their health and causes diseases. https://www.reconnectwithnature.org/news-events/the-buzz/dont-feed-ducks-geese-bread and https://www.geeserelief.com/geese-problems/dont-feed-geese.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked the post Shelley. There are signs everywhere telling park visitors not to feed the geese, but people do it anyway, some with bread and crackers, others with corn. There are regular visitors to this park that feed corn to the ducks and geese daily. I have met three of them. Thank you for the links about the harm of feeding bread. I fed the ducks and geese bread as a kid and also when I first started walking here, but someone put me straight about the harm of feeding them bread and how they can develop angel wing. I’ve seen pictures of ducks with angel wing and it is sad to see how it looks. I see the geese at Council Point Park eating the peanuts I put out for the squirrels and birds – hopefully that is not an issue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I did enjoy the post! That’s wise of you to pay attention and look out for angel wing.
        How sad for the geese/ducks – they also don’t learn to fend for themselves as nature intended. Our local park used to encourage people to feed the ducks/geese when our kids were little. They’ve since changed that and only encourage watching the park staff feed them. They feed them lettuce, etc. It’s kind of fun to watch. I threw out a couple of tomatoes for our birds to see if they’d eat them. The ground squirrel was competing with the crows. Who knew they’d all like tomatoes! The whole peanuts seem to be safe for the squirrels and birds. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I think it’s only recently that social media has been circulating a PSA of what you should feed ducks. I think people, like me, grew up going to parks with their parents, with a bag of bread to feed the ducks and geese. The Mute Swans in the UK are protected and you can only feed them swan food. A fellow blogger in the UK once told me she goes to feed the swans and buys the special swan food for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aw, that’s great there are so many initiatives to make sure they aren’t harmed by the generosity of those wanting to feed them.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Michael says:

    So.many great photos, lovely words and a passion for life…yet im concerned over the amount of poo..sorry…it just must be…hmm 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Michael – glad you liked them. Yes there is a lot of goose poo but since the park is so big, the geese hang out more on the grass and water, than the walking path and the vehicle road. I go to Heritage Park where there are a lot of geese and ducks and you really have to watch where you’re walking or do a poop check constantly. The pitfalls of parks. 🙂 I was at this park on Sunday and got some shots of the geese and ducks in the canal – lots of both and I wondered how the kayakers would get past them. It was a beautiful sight to see though.

      Like

  15. Fairy Queen says:

    Very beautiful goose 😍😍😍 Here in Italy we have only the white goose. I didn’t know canadian goose. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I never realized they disappeared for that long Linda.

    Like

  17. Prior... says:

    Linda
    I did not realize that they had a “lookout goose” but it makes sense
    And enjoyed walking with you and seeing the little goslings was my fav of the post
    ☀️😊🙏

    Like

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