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Why Canada geese are calling a bustling city home

Cara J

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You may have seen them around your job, your house or the nearby lake. Canada geese (Branta canadensis) have established resident populations in urban areas across the country. That includes Chicago, where researchers recently wanted to find out why these geese would choose to settle in the city. In a study published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, researchers recently captured and tracked Canada geese wintering in Chicago to determine where they go for food, where they go when temperatures drop and where they overall choose to establish their territory. Some of their findings surprised them. For example, some of the geese were traveling as far north as the Hudson Bay to breed or molt, and birds that stayed in the cities faced less mortality than geese that migrated. “We have a very large population in the Chicago area,” said TWS member Heath Hagy, a wildlife biologist with the National Wildlife Refuge System of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and coauthor of the study. “The geese can create issues for people such as leaving droppings by water and in green spaces, becoming territorial when they nest in the summer and even colliding with vehicles.” The research team, led by University [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/why-canada-geese-are-calling-a-bustling-city-home/

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