Kudos to the DNR

February 2, 2008

Beautiful picture. Canada Geese in their natural habitat are gorgeous creatures, even majestic in their appearance. For years I have looked up into the sky searching for their flying V formation, accompanied by their familiar honking sound. It is still a beautiful, stirring sight that signals a seasonal change. And reminds me of my father.

Unlike the migratory Canada Geese that pass through Indiana every spring and fall, the ones we have around here have set up permanent residence. At one time they were extremely rare and great effort was made toward restoration. That, coupled with the increase in smaller bodies of water, such as retention ponds in areas of housing and business development, has provided an ideal environment for them to set up housekeeping and overpopulate. In urban and suburban areas they roam freely, without any natural predator. As a result, the population has grown to an estimated 130,000 in Indiana. And that’s not counting those that migrate.

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The average lifespan is 20 to 25 years and one breeding pair can lead to 40 in a matter of years. It isn’t unusual to see them haunting the parking lots in search of leavin’s from a populace that can’t seem to get the trash in the can. At times they are aggressive and have even been known to attack and nip those in close range.

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My daughter had a lovely apartment surrounding a lake which was home to a large flock of Canada Geese. Initially this seemed quite attractive, but in no time at all their nuisance became painfully obvious. They harassed the residents and left droppings similar to that of a dog, which required constant removal in order to walk from the door to the car without carrying it along with you. In addition, it was nearly impossible to navigate around or through them to get from the parking lot to the street.

According to this morning’s paper, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has declared a two-week open season on Canada Geese in an effort to regain control, and thin the number to 80,000. Although the 30 County area is farther to the East, maybe we will see some of the benefit in our neck of the woods. Those of you that visit here know of my infinite love for nature and it’s critters, but to this I say “Well done, DNR”. Maybe next they will take on the Gulls. I don’t think this was what Mother Nature had in mind.

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10 Responses to “Kudos to the DNR”

  1. chrisb Says:

    In the UK gulls are becoming a problem in some areas as are pigeons in a lot of the big cities.

  2. daddy d Says:

    That just goes to show when the balance of nature gets out of hand things messy. Sometimes, too much of a good thing turns bad as a natural way of progress.

  3. Molly Says:

    I just finished watching a Nature program about parrots in Australia. Apparently, different kinds of parrots create similar problems for the Australians.

    My parents lived in a condominium on a golf course in Florida. Residents including my parents would put out bird feed. Their intent was to feed the quail. In addition to the quail, they fed a couple of Muscovy ducks, which are the world’s ugliest ducks. The duck population grew to over fifty and were hazards and a nuisance on the golf course. The management took the ducks away and the residents stopped putting out feed for the birds. Nature’s balance must be quite delicate.

  4. gawilli Says:

    Chris – The gulls are all over the place here. I read about the problem in the UK today. What a mess we have created with nature. Our sprawl has taken away their habitat and now we are dealing with the residual.

    Daddy D – I agree with you and Molly both. The balance of nature is so delicate that we humans have caused it to run amok.

    Molly – I will have to check out the Muscovy ducks. As far as feeding the birds, I have seen people pull up in parking lots where the Gulls flock and feed them bread out of their car windows. Not a good thing for them, or us.

  5. tod Says:

    It’s a shame that the birds have to suffer because of our ignorance. If only humans weren’t so damn messy with their discarded half eaten food and the like.


  6. We are seeing a lot more Canadian geese year round in this area. My mom had a pair that lived on her pond for a couple of years. They raised a family then moved.

  7. Susan Says:

    Geese are beautiful and majestic poop machines. We’ve been having problems with them but only around the lakes and a few parks. I can’t imagine having so many fearlessly walking so closely around a parking lot. Shame on us humans for mucking with Mother Nature’s balance.

  8. Tink Says:

    You know there’s a problem when you see SEAgulls in the Wal-Mart parking lots in Ohio. I think we’ve totally messed up the balance of things.

  9. corky Says:

    When I was younger I used to fish in a lot of ponds that got bombarded with geese and geese droppings. That didn’t stop me from fishing. Nothing stops me from fishing! I’m not obsessive or anything though… 😉

  10. Big John Says:

    Herring gulls are the big problem here on the Kent coast of England. They nest on rooftops and make one heck of a mess. They can also be agressive and will snatch food out of people’s hands and tear open garbage sacks.


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