Goose attack leaves woman
scarred and shaken. CBC
After five days in hospital, Kerry Surman describes the how she was riding her bike along The TransCanada Trail near her home when she saw a Canada Goose family, 2 adults and a gaggle of goslings cross the trail. As the last adult passed the trail, she figured it would be safe to zip by. She was wrong.
"I thought, 'If I just zip past I'll be fine,'" Surman said. "But I misjudged how fast I was going and the goose misjudged my intentions.
"What I remember is the goose giving me the evil eye and then the goose wrapping its wings around my head, and I can't see and I hear myself screaming," she said.
The next thing Surman remembered was that she was lying on the ground and having difficulty getting up.
With her face swollen after the attack, she tried to flag down a cyclist or passerby to help, and eventually was aided by Steve Wilkens, a pastor at the All Nations Church in Sandy Hill. He called 911 and waited with her until an ambulance arrived.
Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources says goose attacks are rare, but the birds can be aggressive towards people and pets, and recommends avoiding any conflict with them.
Some Canada Goose facts:
Canada geese are adaptable to many habitats and may thrive wherever grasses, grains, or berries are available. Because of changing weather, settlement, and farming patterns, many Canada (not "Canadian") geese have begun to alter their migrations. Typically, the birds summered in northern North America and flew south when cold weather arrived. This cycle endures, but some northern populations have shortened their flight to traditional wintering grounds
Most of us are familiar with the ones who have decided not to migrate at all and stay all year round, in sports fields, in parks, golf courses, airports. in fact they are considered a nuisance bird near cities where hunting is not allowed. Hunting in Canada is a year-round-open-season-no bag limit-with a permit.
When I lived in Vancouver, I walked around False Creek on my way to work and back for 5 years. It gave me a chance to watch and follow the waterfowl in False Creek and in the condo ponds. I think that part of the goose survival is the two-parent families, the male sticks around till the goslings can make it on their own. I have seen big families of a 8 - 10 and most of them survive to adulthood in that area. The parents stay with the goslings for one full year. I noticed ducks have more ducklings but mother duck is on her own. They are not as protective of their young and their 12-13 brood can dwindle down to 2 or 3 in no time. Canada Geese are responsible for the disappearance of many ducklings - they take a duckling in one gulp.
What is the status of Canada Geese in North America?
Canada geese have increased dramatically in abundance and geographic distribution during recent decades. Most regional surveys show that Canada goose numbers are either increasing or stable, but overall they are at unprecedented numbers. It is estimated that there are at least 7 million Canada Geese present in North America. In many parts of southern Canada, Canada geese exist in large numbers where only 30 years ago they were uncommon, and 55 years ago were considered to be extirpated. In general, all populations of Canada Geese are stable or increasing at the present time.
The populations in some states and provinces have gone down but on the West Coast they have increased dramatically.
What is the number taken by hunters?
The 2012 Canada Goose harvest was 3,250,939 for the continent of North America. And I read that they are easy to shoot, big and slow-flying.
Add to that the number taken by Wildlife management, city management, home owners, ranchers and farmers. It's a pretty big cull. Near Vancouver, the students at a local college were employed to addle the geese eggs in the nests around Burnaby lake. That seems to be the most human way of population control although it's sad to think of the mother goose sitting on eggs that will never hatch.
*addling, hat tip ColoTim: http://www.dailykos.com/...
NYC has been rounding up and gassing about 1,000 a year but Mayor Blasio has said he now wants to see the most humane practices used to control them.
“I don’t think there was ever an effort to work with other approaches that would have been more humane, to work with experts who could have shown a better approach, and I’m committed to not just rushing in and killing animals when there might be a better way… we have to get every approach on the table and work with the experts.”
More information from HINTERLAND WHO'S WHO
The story of the Canada Goose in the last hundred years highlights the successes and dilemmas of North American waterfowl management. Although challenges lie ahead, the Canada Goose is one of the great success stories of wildlife management today.
One description of the migration of the Canada Geese on the West Cost noted that during their migration they "darken the skies" and that phrase had an ill foreboding for me because that's what they said about the passenger pigeon and the Eskimo Curlew, both now extinct.
In the meantime, watch this poor Tony Soprano look-alike vs an angry Canada Goose.