Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Today's Trivia - Canada Geese

We had a glorious weekend, and my husband and I decided to take advantage of it by spending some time outdoors. In addition to doing some much-needed gardening, we also took some very lengthy walks. Included in those walks was a hiking trail and a park, both of which we visited this past Sunday, back to back. There’s no need to ask whether I took my camera along (I never leave home without it), but the amount of quality images I ended up with after unloading my camera was minimal compared to how much time we spent outdoors, and how many shots I took.

The problem was too much light, believe it or not. It was a very bright, sunny day on Sunday, and that midday sun made it quite challenging to capture decent images. You would think that all that would mean great shots, but it doesn’t. That overabundance of bright light coming directly from above can create some heavy shadows that are not very appealing. There are ways to handle this, but because I’m still quite an amateur, and don’t quite have a grip on this new camera, I just stumble along and hope for the best. Basically, it means that there aren’t that many pictures to share from that outing, but I’ll post whatever is decent enough after I crop them.

But.

As we headed toward a park near our house, we spotted a family of geese in a parking lot, of all places, and my dear hubby pulled into it to give me an opportunity to photograph them. You gotta love a man that will do that for you.

So, below are some photos of that feathery family. And a few facts about them – for inquiring minds.



Canada geese can be found in most types of wetland. Although they are waterfowl, they spend as much time on land as they do in the water.



In the spring and summer months, the geese eat leaves, flowers, stems, roots, seeds and berries. They will often eat for 12 hours or more a day to consume a sufficient amount of nutrients.



They feed even more intensively right before they fly north after the winter, storing energy for an active breeding period and preparing for a lack of food in the spring. Canada geese can also be found grazing on lawns, in parks and on golf courses.



Canada geese normally migrate to southern agricultural areas for the winter. To do so, they fly in the distinct “V” pattern, where one goose is the leader and its flock follows behind in a v-shape. This helps the geese save energy when they migrate, benefit from the air currents passing the leader, permitting them to fly longer distances. The v-shape also allows for an easier coordination of the flock's movements, such as a change in flight speed or direction. The formation lets these changes be communicated quickly and efficiently to all geese in the flock.



When geese are flying in formation, you can often hear them calling to each other. Adult Canada geese have about 13 different calls, ranging from low clucks and murmurs communicated while feeding and loud greeting and alarm calls. Goslings even start to communicate with their parents while they're still in the egg. A gosling can make a call, or peep, if it's distressed or content.



Canada geese breed all through North America, with the exception of the high Arctic and the extreme southern parts of the United States and Mexico. Some flocks winter in southern Canada, from British Columbia to southwestern Ontario to the Maritime provinces. They are only found in these areas if food and open water is available. Otherwise, the majority travel farther south to the United States, or even to northeastern Mexico.



All the information above is from Canadian Geographic.

"That's enough, camera lady. Now beat it. Don't make me come there..."

6 comments:

  1. Man, I saw some canadian geese standing in teh middle of the aisle in a mall parking lot the other day. They were just standing there and there was this huge backup and cars honking. But those geese just stood their ground!

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    1. They always do that. They don't seem to be intimidated easily. When I was photographing them, they were watching me closely. I was sure that if I got too near, one of them would come after me. That would have been a really funny sight!

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  2. Great blog ending! Ha ha. I know thy aren't popular in some places (like golf courses) but i love them so thank you for such a great post.

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  3. What camera is that again? I need to see about getting my wife one. That takes great pictures.

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  4. It's a canon T3i. Not the best but certainly a very good one. Watch for sales to get a good price for it; this one seems to always be on sale. It is well worth the investment if you are passionate about taking pictures. It's not the choice you'd make if you were taking photos professionally, but just perfect for an amateur. Your wife will love you for it!

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