Ah the great Canada goose. We still are caught when we see formations of them fly overhead on their twice a year migration. We're also caught when we run into the leftovers of the growing number who decide they don't want to migrate any longer.
The state of Michigan has become overwhelmed with the waterfowl. A resident population that stood at 9,000 in 1970 has blossomed to 300,000 today. It's a problem that's shared by Canadian cities from Vancouver to Quebec, perhaps even beyond.
Michigan's answer, if it's approved, will be to cull the herd and feed them to the homeless. The slaughtered birds would be sent to Detroit soup kitchens to be served up to the needy.
"Birds have personalities. Some of them found it nice to stay. Once they stayed, they had young, and the young do what the old do and they don't have built-in migration programmed," University of Toronto professor Theo Hofmann said.
"If their parents don't migrate, they don't migrate, whereas other birds have built-in migration. So, regardless of the parents, they migrate."
Canada geese also tend to proliferate because they produce as many as seven goslings a year and have no enemies, he said. Prof. Hofmann has eaten goose -- albeit a domesticated, European species --and describes it as gamey and greasier than duck.