On 9/15/18 12:03 AM, bill van wrote:
> On 2018-09-14 21:22:29 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:
>> On Friday, September 14, 2018 at 3:32:57 AM UTC-6, Cheryl P wrote:
>>> On 2018-09-14 4:51 AM, tonbei wrote:
>>>> I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
>>>> Dozens of Canada geese have congregated around an old sycamore tree.
>>>> They sit in the grass like
>>>> dark, long-necked gourds, and puff and flap and peck for food.
>>>> (The Last Precinct by P. Cornwell)
>>>> When you say "puff and flap" to describe a behaviour of a bird, what
>>>> behaviour would it be like?
>>>> "flap" here means a bird flapping its wings as I understand, but I
>>>> couldn't get a picture of "puff".
>>> Sometimes birds puff themselves out; make themselves look bigger by
>>> puffing out their chests or fluffing up their feathers. I think I've
>>> read that the feather-fluffing also helps them keep warm - but I know
>>> there are posters who know far more about birds than I do!
>> Yes, some birds fluff out their feathers to keep warm, but I'm not
>> sure Canada Geese do.
> They do seasonal migrations away from places that get cold in winter,
> although I'm sure
> they could manage a little feather-fluffing on a cool day. In benign
> climates, such as Vancouver,
> they stay year-round.
Even in distinctly less benign climates, such as Minnesota. As I
understand it, a lot of year-round Canada Geese are in introduced
>> I suspect it's more along the lines of your
>> first suggestion, specifically the slightly raised wings seen here:
>> Canada Geese also make a hissing sound in response to predators,
>> but from a glance at the book, I think the narrator was looking through
>> a window at geese that weren't all that close.
> I see Canada geese every day of the year. They graze in the parks in my
> neighbourhood. The only time
> I've seen one hiss or otherwise display a threat towards humans has been
> during nesting season.
That agrees with what I read. I couldn't tell from my quick look at the
book what season it took place in.
> There are, I think, some dominance things going on among the geese
> and with other water fowl. That flattened-neck posture in the link
> above is familiar to me.
Until I saw that page, I thought it was courtship. Well, courtship can
look like dominance behavior in other species too.
> They bully the ducks in local ponds, and they make way for the swans.
> There are no natural predators of Canada geese in Vancouver other than
> an occasional urbancoyote,
And maybe the occasional Bald Eagle. Gulls take eggs and goslings.
> and the local parks board controls coyotes
> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
> ignore us
> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.
At some point the local parks board may decide it has to control geese,
though you'd know whether that would run into much popular opposition.