Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Canada Geese ~ McArthur Park ~ Kamloops, BC

We were driving through McArthur Park on a cold but sunny winter day when I spotted a flock of Canada Geese all having their afternoon rest in the waning sunshine.  We drove past so as not to disturb them then pulled over so I could get photos of the resting flock.

Canada Geese enjoying the sunshine
I quietly stepped down the grassy slope to begin taking photos when a few of them jumped up and started walking but what surprised me was that they were coming over my way.

They think I have food!
It wasn’t long and there were several following and before I knew it, they were all on their way.   I am quietly telling them I have no goodies for them but that didn’t seem to matter, they kept coming.

Getting closer
I stayed in place and they came within just a few feet of me as I continued talking to them.  They were pretty curious but at least they didn’t come right up to me, I would have been backing away if that had happened but they showed no aggression, so I stood my ground.

Settled in to find food in grass
They arrived, checked me out then all sat down, picking at the grass, I suspect, hoping they were going to find that I really did bring something for them to eat!  I admit that I did feel badly that they were looking for food and I had none, but I don’t think feeding them is the right thing to do although it appears other must, for them to come running as they did.

No food but more resting
The Canada Geese was near extinction in the 1950’s but there was a small flock discovered in Minnesota in 1962.  From this flock, a good production and restoration program began and by the end of 1981, more than 6,000 had been released at 83 sites in North Dakota.    The population in 2000 was said to be between 4 and 5 million in North America.

Canada Geese on McArthur Park Soccer Fields
The growing population of Canada Geese does create some problems for us, especially that they don’t all migrate further south anymore.  Some do but we seem to have plenty at all our parks and golf courses over the winter time as well as during the warmer seasons.

Thompson River at sunset
They were once protected from being hunted but the laws changed in June 2011 and that is no longer the case so that it is legal to hunt the Canada Geese, within hunting regulations, of course.  I am not an advocate of hunting and shooting any birds or animals but can understand the growing population is causing a serious problem in many places.  Culling is done in parts of the United States.

Ice flows in the Thompson River
The sun had slid down behind the hills but gave some final reflections on the river as the ice chunks flowed by.  So although I would rather all those Canada Geese were not leaving their mess in our park, I sure can understand why they would stay.  Winter or not, we offer such a beautiful location, how could they say ‘no’?

We love Kamloops, there is just no place like home!