Friday, September 20, 2013

Animal behavior

We've got a goose problem now. Not that it's a bigger problem in terms of size of the flock. It's the same size flock we've had visiting the pond behind our house since we moved in here 3 years ago. I should correct myself and say that it's a human problem. Humans are feeding the birds, who are now associating all the humans with food.

Previously, there were a couple of geese in our driveway, and when we went outside they moved away from us. Now, they travel in the full gaggle of 15-16, and when they see humans, they move en masse TOWARD them, expecting food. And they have done it to me twice. They did it to Clone this morning as she walked to the bus stop. They did it to a kid on the next street over from us.

We have a human problem. Stop feeding the wild animals. And especially stop feeding them crap that isn't in their natural diet. It's bad for us to eat it, so it's even worse for the animals. And by feeding them, you're going to evolve the natural instincts of survival out of the flock. And day, they're going to have a moment of low blood sugar crankiness and attack someone en masse. So Fish & Wildlife Conservation is going to have to label them as a collective nuisance, and catch and possibly destroy the birds. Geese, especially Canada Geese are a particularly violent animal that is capable of inflicting serious injury to a human. I've seen the violence they're willing to inflict on their own species.

All because you thought it was cute to feed them bread that they don't normally eat, from a source they don't normally interact with, in a manner they don't normally go about on any day.

Seriously, you're not the old woman in Mary Poppins feeding pigeons in the city. You're a problem human creating problem animals in a neighborhood with a wide age range of resident, by interfering with the laws of nature and the natural order of the animals' habitat. And you're breaking a few laws. The birds are naturally fearful of humans, and you're making them lose that fear, which then evolves into associating humans with food. And then when they encounter people like me who wisely do not feed wild animals, they are hungry, cranky and angry, and go on the attack because HOW DARE I NOT FEED THEM!?!??!? 

So I mean it. Stop. Feeding. The. Wild. Waterfowl. You're doing more harm than help.

No comments: