Monday, January 23, 2012

Geese Don't Always Fly South

The familiar “V” shaped sight of a flock of Canada geese heading south for the winter has been a common occurrence throughout North America for as long as it has been populated. However, in recent years it seems like flocks of geese can be seen heading every direction at just about any time of year; why is this?
Canada geese have traditionally migrated south each winter in search of a reliable food supply, open water, and safety from hungry predators. However, the urbanization of many parts of North America over the last century has changed this. Golf courses and public parks are home to many man-made bodies of water that are shallow enough to not freeze. Human food waste provides a reliable meal for the geese, and the majority of their natural predators, such as golden eagles, wolves and mountain lions, are no longer present. Because of all this, Canada geese have little reason to leave many areas in the winter, and flocks often become permanent residents year-round.

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