December 15, 2022 at 3:31 pm

Canadian Geese Don’t Fear Humans And You’re Right To Be Scared

by Ashley Dreiling

You may be surprised to know what animal North American residents consider the scariest.

And yes, it’s in the title, but still… has this ever happened to you?

goose attack!

Not bears. Not mountain lions. It’s the Canada goose!

A new study by the University of Illinois has found when it comes to the human territorial battle against the Canada goose, these aggressive birds are somehow winning the war.

Perhaps this is because the geese don’t seem fazed when humans try to scare them off. The experiment found that even when the geese did get scared, they weren’t frightened for very long.

Canada goose featured image Canadian Geese Dont Fear Humans And Youre Right To Be Scared

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Past studies have shown these geese try to avoid conflict with humans, and the latest report appears to explain why. Using GPS trackers, the researchers studied the animals’ behavior immediately after they were harassed.

Doctoral student Ryan Askren said in a statement,

“When they’re not being harassed, they’re making the choice to leave the park because it’s beneficial to them – there’s a resource elsewhere they want to access.

Whereas when we’re harassing them, they probably have a biological reason to be there. There’s some sort of resource, such as food or water, and they want to be there at that moment.

Often the geese would stay close by in the same urban area so they didn’t exert much energy, and then simply return to the territory within one hour.

It appeared that the geese were ambivalent about the human attempts to chase them from the park and only left because they wanted to, not because we wanted them to.

Askren added,

“The literature suggests unless there’s a lethal aspect to harassment, unless they really have a strong fear that they’re going to die or some of them are actually dying, then most harassment methods just don’t seem to be very effective.”

Since we’re certainly not going to turn this cold war into a bloody battle, we have no choice but to find a way to co-exist with our fine, feathered fiends.

twistedsifter on facebook Canadian Geese Dont Fear Humans And Youre Right To Be Scared