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Killer Geese

By: Rye Spooner

We’re experiencing some new winged company now that we’ve moved into Oracle

Photo by Flickr

We’re gonna get straight to the point, we’ve got some neighbors, and I’m not talking about Oracle employees. I’m talking about the geese. While some students may find them cute and cuddly, others are on constant edge from fear of an attack. To understand our new neighbors, we need to uncover their strengths and weaknesses. Well, most importantly their weaknesses.

First off, our buds are Canadian geese that have lost the instinct to migrate. Geese go back to the place they were born to mate so baby geese that are born here stay here, pooping on our lawns and moving in a vaguely threatening gaggle all day.

The geese really have no reason to be mean aside from the fact that they probably enjoy flying at people and pooping on every square inch of our campus. The student consensus is that they’re cute! Well, until they poop and flinch at you. Speaking of poop, did you know that each goose produces 1-3 lbs of droppings per day? That’s insane, especially because we always have about 20 geese on our lawn, meaning at a maximum they can produce 60 pounds of poop per day. That’s the equivalent of an 8 year old kid made entirely out of poop. Because of this, Canadian geese are mainly considered a pest species.

While it may be tempting to hunt the geese, it’s actually illegal. The geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which does not allow migratory bird hunting outside hunting seasons, which only lasts 25 days. Amusingly, humans are the cause of our feathered friend nightmares. In the 1900s, the Canada Goose was almost driven to extinction but programs to help rebuild the goose population were unfortunately too successful. Ashley, a volunteer from the Peninsula Humane Society said “the fact is that geese are just really not bothered by humans.” So, here are some tips on how to avoid an attack of the ground:

First, a goose does have many tells that it’s angry before it starts flying at you, one being that it’ll bob its head up and down and honk aggressively at you. At that point you should calmly walk away, but keep your eyes on the bird at all times. By doing this, you’ll prevent a sneak attack, and also keep the situation from escalating. The best thing to do is back away and stay calm, because geese can smell fear (not really, but they will interpret movement as a threat). If all else fails, you may have to throw down with a goose.

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