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The honk stops here –Canada Geese overstay their visit

A gaggle of Canada Geese along the West Lake Street side of the lake

A gaggle of Canada Geese along the West Lake Street side of the lake Dwayne Houghton

— The Canada Goose — or geese, if there’s more than one then it’s a flock — are still here. It’s wrong to call them ‘Canadian’ by the way.

Usually gone just before Dickens Christmas starts, they haven’t gotten that inborn migratory memo yet. Anyone who lives along the northern shore of the lake has no doubt heard them and will attest to the annoyance.

“They honk all night,” said Legg Hall resident Joanne Cross. “I know it’s their way of communication but sometimes they talk all night.”

The larger-than-normal flock of Canada Geese — some 1,000 plus — seemed to have flown as far south as they want for now. While they’re picturesque in the calm, mirror-smooth water of a sunny morning, it’s a little different at night. When the sun goes down, they’re loud and cranky to anyone within earshot.

The honking sounds like a New York City traffic jam made up of toy cars. In large numbers they can be a problem. Ask anyone who took USAir Flight 1549 and ended up in the Hudson River.

The Canada Goose migrates in two stages from early September to November. They are the most recognizable and most common waterfowl species in North America.

They go where the food is. Predominately vegetarian, they’ll also eat small fish and insects. They prefer lawn grass when uncovered by a snowfall and will tear into the roots and pull out the grass with their long necks. With snow coming a bit late this year it could explain why they’re still here.

Another food source is human leftovers. Once fed they will stick around and not migrating any further. So please ‘don’t feed the ducks’ unless you want your lawn indiscriminately fertilized. Just 50 geese can produce two-and-a-half tons of ‘product’ per year.

Mating for life and weighing from 6 to 19 pounds, a Canada Goose will charge at a human or any animal if they or their goslings are threatened. So watch yourself when trying to chase them off your property.

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