We’ve Been Goosed

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The flight of Canada Geese seen overhead in Seven Lakes is one of the tell-tale signs that the seasons have changed. 

They remind us that the world is in a constant state of change, and we must endure and persevere to reach our destination.  

The geese are fairly common sights around Seven Lakes, especially around water in lakes and the golf course. 

Canada geese migrate south from the North because geese need open water where they can swim away from land based predators and dive for food, and if lakes and ponds freeze over in the winter, they must leave for warmer climates.  There now is a constant population of non-migratory birds here.   At last count we have 74 geese “residing” in Seven Lakes withot paying any dues…  

Canada geese  are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  As of 2013, the treaty protects 1,026 species.  

While the birds are protected, federal law allows for managing populations through various means. For example, hunting with a state permit is allowed at certain times.  With the decline of migratory Canada geese, resident geese have increased dramatically in Moore County.

During migration, Canada geese fly in a V formation, with each bird in line flying a little bit higher than the goose in front of it. 

Theoretically it allows the lead goose to break the headwind, allowing the birds behind to “draft”. Canada geese will shift positions during their flight in order to take turns breaking the wind and reducing fatigue.  

Canada geese fly at an average speed of about 40 – 70 MPH if they catch a strong tailwind. 

Migrations can be as long as 2,000 to 3,000 miles, and the geese are capable of flying up to 1,500 miles in a single day if the weather is good. During their long migrations, Canada geese typically fly at an altitude of 2,000 to 8,000 feet. 

From The SLLA: 

Whether you love or hate the resident Canadian geese in our community, (or fall somewhere in between) your help is needed!

How the Basic Facts Relate to our Community:

Last official count had 74 residing geese, however unofficial counts during this mating season are well over 200. That amounts to over 400 pounds of rich fertilizer-feces/day resulting in:

Increased numbers of pathogens to our lakes and common areas

Increased use of chemicals to control blooms of unwanted and invasive grasses/plants.

Increased erosion from overgrazing and trampling on slope surface areas, i.e. backsides of our dams that require healthy vegetated surfaces for integrity, not to mention lawns that are overgrazed.

If no management actions are taken, we can count on 60-75 new goslings each year.

Doing the math, it does not take much critical thinking of where unchecked growth can take us, and our most cherished amenities in the future.

Edited By:  Millie Jameson

SLN Reporter

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