C is for Canada geese…or is it Canadian geese? And also Cowbirds
First of all I have to admit I used to call these large birds Canadian geese when I do know that the actual name is Canada geese. I think they were migratory but as of the last few years, they are pretty much a year long resident of Virginia and its waterways. It is not uncommon to hear the honking overhead as flocks of them travel from one pond, lake or river to another.
They can be problematic, however, since many airports are around rivers. In fact National Airport is right next to the Potomac River. They have tried all sorts of things to keep them from flying too near the planes taking off, but that is not always possible. Usually the damage is not excessive but just last week they did have to change an engine due to a bird strike. (My hubby works for a major airline)
As technology and nature try and work out a viable relationship, I sit outside on my deck and listen to the geese. They are truly beautiful creatures. Lively, in their family groups because Canada geese mate for life.
C is for Canada, Candian, or whichever geese you decide.
I had the C entry post for my ABC book of nature all set. And then this morning while checking the blooms on my lilies of the valley I saw a little cowbird amidst the plants. He didn’t appear to be hurt and eagerly jumped on my finger. So I put him on a nearby branch so that no neighborhood cats would get him. As of this writing he is still sitting there.
Cowbirds have two defining habits. One is that they are nest parasites. These birds lay they eggs in the nests of other birds and since they are bigger and mature quicker, the other chicks in the nest sometimes starve. The other is that they eat the insects off of cows helping the cow to be more comfortable, hence the name cowbirds. So they are yin and yang, good and bad depending upon which habit you are looking at. I hope this little guy survives.