Geese Can Be Real…Jerks!

Temperatures keep climbing upward in my ‘hood, which is Southeast Michigan. And today, the sun was shining bright and temps were in the upper 30s – so my husband and I decided we were going to go for “walkies.” Today’s walk was about 70 minutes and occurred in North Bay Park in Ypsilanti, MI. The park is located on a dammed portion of the Huron River just south of I-94. In certain sections of the trail, you’re pretty much walking right next to I-94 – which can make it challenging to have a conversation if it’s close to rush hour!

North Bay Park in Ypsilanti, MI.

As Ferris Bueller so eloquently said:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

What did we stop to look at today? Why…birds, of course! This park is pretty popular with local “birders.”  We bore witness to a rather dramatic “ballet” today! A group of “hybrid” geese had some fighting words for Canada geese, for one! Though I admittedly don’t speak Waterfowl (aside from being able to ask where the bathroom is, LOL), I could kind of tell that the “hybrid” geese were telling the Canada geese this in very plain language:


Get off my lawn. And stay on the frozen parts of the lake!

Though things look peaceful enough in this photo, this was NOT a peaceful scene! The Canada geese were angrily chased out of the water by the “Hybrid” geese and told in plain Waterfowl language to… stay out!

A bit farther down the trail, we saw a lonesome “Hybrid” goose walking out on the ice…and everyone had to hear his (or her) play-by-play! If I had to guess what the bird was saying, it might have been along the lines of something like this:


What am I doing trying to walk on this ice? I can’t even get a good enough foothold to fly – and by the way – where the Hell is  everyone?

We stood there and watched – as the goose slowly waddled toward the shore. Then as if by some divine intervention, that goose had a real reason to step up the pace! What could have possibly motivated this abrupt change in behavior? Food, of course! A little girl was tossing out scraps of bread. Oh boy…food!


Hybrid goose enjoying some free vittles.

Did I mention that weather is warming up?  Some portions of the lake were opened up for swimming (if you’re a bird, that is…)


Speaking of warming up, I didn’t even wear a coat today! Just a long sleeved shirt and vest was all I needed today.


A good portion of Ford Lake behind me is still frozen, but within a couple of days, it  will most likely all be melted. Can’t wait to see the wee turtles out sunning themselves!

Toward the end of my walk, I saw a “different” kind of bird! It wasn’t a Canada goose, it wasn’t a “Hybrid” goose, and it wasn’t a swan – or a mallard. And of COURSE this was the bird I wasn’t able to photograph! An internet photo will have to suffice:


Red breasted merganser. This kind of bird is commonly called a “sawbill” because of its jaws that are used to ensnare prey. I only saw one of these at the park today.




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