Ever since my freshman year when my roommate got chased on campus by a nesting goose, I’ve made strict precautions not to disturb them because that scenario turned out to be quite scary. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep yourself, and more importantly the geese, safe on campus.
- DO NOT PROVOKE. One of the main reasons people get attacked by geese is because they are provoking them. Leaving them alone to do what geese do is the best way to not piss off a goose who might think you’re going to hurt their goslings. A mad mother goose is probably one of the more dangerous creatures. If you leave them alone and avoid areas that are goose nests, there is not ever a reason a goose should come after you. Being Barstool famous is not worth it, just leave them be (also the Canadian geese we have here in America are protected by law, so don’t get yourself in trouble).
- Know what time of the year it is. By this I mean know when it’s mating, nesting (raising goslings), molting (shedding of feathers) or pond-hopping season. In my experience, I’ve found that geese are most hostile during the mating and nesting seasons because of their protective instincts. According to The Humane Society, when geese are molting, they decide not to fly because of how much they shed at a certain time, so this time is the most vulnerable for geese. Mating season is approximately mid-February to mid-April, nesting season is early March to mid-May, and molting season is mid-June to mid-August.
- Know why geese are the way they are. Did you know that Canadian geese were brought here as goslings in the 1970s-80s and don’t migrate to other countries because their parents didn’t teach them? The geese of today are not the same migrators as other North American geese because of how they got to America.
- Avoid them if you can. Like number one, the best way to not make the geese mad is to avoid them. They have done no harm to you and they won’t unless you mess with them. Know where they hang out around campus, when the seasons are to avoid them totally or figure out how to not disturb it when you come in contact with one.
- DON’T FEED THEM. Geese are animals who know how to forage for their own food. Often when given bread to eat, it can mess up their digestive system and even cause their feathers to ruffle out into what’s called angel wings, making them unable to fly. If you take away a bird’s ability to fly, it often enables them to die, which then could get you in trouble. Just don’t feed them. It’s not healthy for them and the goal of all of these tips is how to peacefully exist with the wonderful bird.
All in all, the goose is like a grumpy grandfather that you don’t really hang out with. You know when exactly to avoid them, how to not feed them with any type of food or thoughts and you understand why they are the way they are. These tips are the keys to keeping you, the UNC Charlotte geese and the geese across America safe.