The goose: Friend or foe? This depends mostly on whether or not it’s nesting season. If a goose has something to protect, it will defend itself — and a goose can mess you up.
There’s one thing that can ruin a nice picnic at the park on the river/lake – an over protective nesting bird. Geese and ducks in particular can be extremely territorial.
Whatever their flaws, geese are brave and will fight to protect their young to the death. Here’s one attacking a golfer, who I will remind you has an entire bag of weapons and still gets got:
After that incident last year, USA Today interviewed ornithologist Kevin McGowan, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology an affiliate of Cornell University. According to McGowan, the geese were once endangered, but their population has exploded and they’re a bit too comfortable with humans.
McGowan mostly advises staying away from geese, period, but they’re kind of everywhere. The good people at UPS Launch have provided the perfect instructional video for how to deal with an angry or defensive goose that crosses your path; it’s less than a minute long, informative, and entertaining.
I strongly relate to it on a personal level, because as a nine-year-old, I got rushed by a goose that was both angry and wanted my bread. Having never seen this video, I ran as fast as I could and slammed into a pole.
My knee was swollen for weeks, but at least the goose decided I was no longer a threat, and wandered away. Here’s the essential info I needed then:
Act threatened or timid around the goose
Turn your back
Make confident eye contact
Back away slowly while facing the goose
Respect all wild animals, even the ones that honk like clowns and waddle.