Canada geese avoid hunters in Chicago city


This video from the USA says about itself:

16 August 2012

Canadian Geese take over front yard of suburban home in Asbury Park, NJ [New Jersey].

The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a wild goose with a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brownish-gray body. Native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, it is occasionally found in northern Europe, and has been introduced to other temperate regions.

… It breeds in Canada and the northern United States in a variety of habitats. Its nest is usually located in an elevated area near water such as streams, lakes, ponds and sometimes on a beaver lodge. Its eggs are laid in a shallow depression lined with plant material and down. The Great Lakes region maintains a very large population of Canada Geese.

From the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in the USA:

Smart birds: Canada geese give hunters the slip by hiding out in Chicago

October 23, 2017

It’s open season for Canada geese in Illinois from mid-October to mid-January. Unfortunately for hunters, Canada geese are finding a new way to stay out of the line of fire. Rather than being “sitting ducks” in a rural pond, they’re setting up residence in the city.

University of Illinois ornithologist Mike Ward says he and a team of researchers conducted a recent study to try to find out why there were so many Canada geese in Chicago in the winter. “We thought the geese would fly to forage on nearby agricultural fields during the day, then fly back to the city to roost, but that wasn’t the case. What we learned is that they weren’t going to the city for food, they were going there because there were no hunters,” he explains.

The study finds that 85 percent of the Canada geese wintered in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area, and none made foraging flights to agricultural fields within or outside of the urban area. Their arrival demonstrated uncanny timing as well. Approximately 70 percent of the geese the researchers were tracking returned to the Chicagoland area prior to open hunting seasons.

Ward says survival rate was also high. “All of the Canada geese that spent the winter in Chicago survived, whereas half of the birds that decided to leave the Chicagoland area and go to areas where hunting is allowed, and more prevalent, were harvested.”

According to Ward, the birds’ ability to make use of nontraditional habitats in the city, such as green spaces, rooftops, and rail yards, and avoidance of agricultural fields suggests Canada geese may be minimizing risk rather than maximizing energy intake by using urban areas during winter.

“During mid-November through late February 2014-2016, we captured and attached transmitters to 41 geese within the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area,” Ward says. “To each goose, we attached an aluminum band and a GPS transmitter attached to a white plastic waterfowl neck collar.” The birds were tracked to determine habitat selection and survival.

As the winter months grew colder and the snow-depth increased, the geese chose green spaces 55 percent less often. Instead, they increased their selection of industrial urban areas, such as water treatment facilities and deep-water areas within shipping canals, by over 140 percent.

7 thoughts on “Canada geese avoid hunters in Chicago city

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