In Honor of Earth Day: Visiting with Canada Geese & their Goslings

The destiny of humans cannot be separate from the destiny of Earth [and all living things].                                                                                                                          —Thomas Berry

Cecile and I have been captivated by these Canada Geese and their adorable goslings we visit during our morning walk at the main lake—a stone’s throw away from where we live. 
Geese symbolize the sacred circle of life, cooperation, communication, knowing when to lead and when to follow. I was suprised to learn that Geese are not really from Canada. The true migratory goose was almost driven to extinction from excessive hunting over 50 years ago…

By happenstance, wildlife officials in some areas of the country began a national recovery program by taking and incubating nest eggs from “decoy” geese they had captured to lure other geese coming down from Canada.

Eventually the young were deposited throughout the US., sometimes in areas where geese weren’t present. Consequently, the resident goose was born. Resident geese don’t migrate to Canada since in part, they don’t know the way…Eventually, their young offspring were drawn to U.S. parks, lakes and ponds…They stay in the U.S. because this is where they were born…”However,” says journalist Mary Lou Simms, "If some handsome, non-migratory dude finds the love of his life in a migratory group, his life instantly changes. He becomes part of the cycle for which he was originally intended. They head for Canada because the female determines the nesting site.”

Canada geese resist being touched or petted…The way they show affection for humans and each other is by a honk, chirp or coo. Geese usually hiss when strangers come too close…especially, while protecting their newborns. “When they fall in love," says Simms, "It is a lifetime committment. They mate once a year and the parents-gander (male) and goose (female)…raise their young goslings together, sharing the responsibiities.” As they say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.🙂

Resident geese—who have fewer challenges in the wild—can live to be 25 or 30 years as opposed to migratory geese who are exposed to CLIMATE CHANGE which on one hand improves breeding due to warmer conditions but on the hand, places the mother at more risk of being attacked by predators.
Source cited: Mary Lou Simms, Journalist, Investigative reporter for The Huffington Post blog