Nov. 1, 2008,
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Canon EOS 40D
Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm)
Canada geese floating on a lake surrounded by fall colors from trees reflecting in the water makes for an attractive, tranquil photo. That’s why I shot this scene a few years ago. The early morning autumn sun was illuminating the trees across the lake, creating a very nice reflection. The position of the geese was perfect, resting on the transition from yellow reflections to red reflections.
I like the photo. But I’m not a big fan of the bird.
I live in an area that has Canada geese — a LOT of Canada geese — hanging around any large or small body of water. Canada geese in small numbers aren’t a problem. But you seldom find Canada geese in small numbers. If you make the mistake of feeding a couple of geese hanging around a local pond, normal goose reproduction means you could have 50 to 100 around the pond in just a few years. And that doesn’t include others that may fly over, see the happy geese in your pond and decide to join them. Goose feces will foul the water in the pond and the areas around the pond. It’s a mess.
During nesting season geese will attack people passing nearby, making walks in local parks an adventure (I’ve been attacked a number of times during my spring photo hikes). A nest near a home can create a threatening situation for families. And a few years ago a pair of geese built a nest beside the door of a local store, attacking any customer that tried to enter.
But geese in large numbers can be a nuisance year round. I’ve seen gaggles of geese, sometimes 40 or more, decide to cross a busy road, change their mind for some reason and end up standing in the middle of the road blocking traffic for 10 to 15 minutes until the honking horns convince them to move on.
But there’s little you can do about nuisance Canada geese. The species is protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and, in my area, Ohio state law. They can’t be hunted. Many companies offer non-lethal goose removal services, using dogs or firecrackers to scare them away, but these tactics are often unsuccessful. The geese come back.
As I said earlier, I like the photo. But I’m not a big fan of geese.
Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.