They fly over the house and I run from one side of the yard to the other trying to herd 'em in. I see them at the ponds around our house, sometimes hundreds of them, and I can't help but want to herd them. Mum thinks I'd make a pretty darn good geese away dog. And living here in the type of neighborhood I do, I'm sure there would be quite the call for my services, these folks really don't like all the Geese poo around.
My curiosity got the best of me and Wikipedia gave me some great information to satisfy my curiosity about these creatures. Here's what they have to say:
Goose (plural: geese) is the English name for a considerable number of birds, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than geese, and ducks, which are smaller.Great stuff Wikipedia, thanks!
True geese are medium to large birds, always (with the exception of the Nēnē) associated to a greater or lesser extent with water. Most species in Europe, Asia and North America are strongly migratory as wild birds, breeding in the far north and wintering much farther south. However, escapes and introductions have led to resident feral populations of several species.
All geese eat a largely vegetarian diet, and can become pests when flocks feed on arable crops or inhabit ponds or grassy areas in urban environments. Geese usually mate for life, though a small number will "divorce" and remate. They tend to lay a smaller number of eggs than ducks but both parents protect the nest and young, which usually results in a higher survival rate for the young geese.
Not all couples are heterosexual, as both females and males will form long-term same-sex couples with greater or lesser frequency depending on species. Of the heterosexual couples, a significant proportion are non-breeding despite having an active sexual life.
The male goose is called a gander and the female is the goose; young birds before fledging are known as goslings. A group of geese on the ground is called a gaggle; when flying in formation, it is called a wedge or a skein.
One of my and my Mum's favorite movies of all time is Winged Migration. If you have never seen the movie, visit the Winged Migration website where you can find the trailer, wallpaper and more info about this amazing piece of film. It was originally released in theaters in 2001. We saw it first on HBO in 2004 and have watched many times since then.
Here's a little clip from the movie...
The DVD and Original Soundtrack are both must haves if you like great music, great film, great documentaries. There is talk on the Internet that some of the 'migrating' was staged with trained birds and that some of the scenes were 'created.' Nevertheless, it's a spectacular piece of film making and one we will never forget.