Thursday, May 12, 2011

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bobs Nautical: Canada Geese AROUND US

Bobs Nautical: Canada Geese AROUND US: "Below is an editorial from Gam on Yachting, 1975 explaining how bad the Canada Geese problem was 35 years ago and why it is much, much worse..."

Canada Geese AROUND US

Below is an editorial from Gam on Yachting, 1975 explaining how bad the Canada Geese problem was 35 years ago and why it is much, much worse today.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese are a familiar sight along Toronto's waterfront. Sail by the airport and you'll probably have more squadrons of geese than you will airplanes overhead, drop your anchor in one of the Island lagoons and before you have time to unwrap your sandwiches, a family of geese will likely be around to share it with you.

In the springtime those of us who are especially sharp eyed will see nests hidden everywhere, in the storage piles of winter boat cradles, in long grasses, wooden thickets, hollows of trees and even on the roofs of sheds.

As the days grow longer the families appear, little fleets of five, six, eight bits of fluff' swimming in formation with one parent leading and one bringing up the rear, or little clusters poking at the grass or weeds along with shore, one parent or the other constantly on the watch for danger.

The bits of fluff soon grow to scraggy imatures and flying lessons begin. Somehow it never quite happens, but often formations come so close that skippers wonder how they manage to avoid flying right into their sails.

This summer bird counts put the number of Canada Geese in Toronto area at about 1,500. To people who frequent the waterfront, it sometimes seems as though there are many more than this.

Only ten years ago the occurrence of Canada Geese in the area was rare indeed. Occasionally, during the spring or fall migration season the sound of honking from above would bring Torontonians rushing to their doors or windows and provided a topic of conversation for the next few days.

In 1965 the wings of six pairs of Canada Geese, the originals of the present colony, were clipped to encourage them to nest on Centre Island. At the time there was considerable controversy from environmentalists. Feelings are still mixed.

The Canada Goose is a beautiful and intelligent bird, for most people a pleasure to have around. The concern felt is for the increasing dependence of the birds on artificial feeding by humans and the environmental imbalance which might result from their presence in ever increasing numbers.

A little arithmetic indicates that this concern might be justified. Geese mature in about two years. They can live and are able to produce for close to thirty years. --