Geese and I have a mutual kill-on-sight policy. In the Chicago area, they’re protected better than only children. Geese have become oversized pigeons; thus they’re not just flying rats but giant flying rats.
Standing one’s ground, raising arms and hissing demonstrates to the goose that you are bigger and badder than it is. While you will look completely idiotic doing this, the goose will (in my experience) back down quite often. Sort of like I’ve seen recommended for bear encounters, but with much less risk involved for the human.
Learned this from an old Texas gentleman, a country restaurant owner who had geese in a pond on the property. Parking too far back in the parking lot would sometimes result in nesting birds trying to scare you away. When I told him I’d been attacked, after he stopped laughing he took me back outside and showed me. When I stopped laughing at him, we went back inside and I had dinner.
When I was a kid, my family lived on a small farm, we had “Watch Geese” who nested in our carport. On the rare occasion that someone decided it was a good idea to try to steal tools/whatnot from the carport, it was always fun to watch. We would hear a loud, warlike… um… HONK, usually followed by some poor dude screaming his ass off. I could then look out the window and watch the dude being chased down the drive by the big gander. If he was particularly unlucky, both the goose and the gander would be after him.
One of said criminals was caught by a home owner up the road the next day and was taken into custody. When the Sheriff stopped by to see if we had had anything taken, he described the guy as having numerous softball sized knots on his legs, buttocks, and lower back, and the guy wouldn’t say where/how he got them (and did we know?). My dad just laughed.
Then one fall, the gander made the mistake of biting my dad. The knot was enormous! We had goose for thanksgiving that year.
We’re the top of the food chain, geese are considerably farther down.
Let them know that and you’re cool.
My father had some, they were real jerks. They messed with me once, I waved my arms and yelled back at them. After that they just ignored me.
They were the only animal on his little farm my dog didn’t chase when I took him there. He tried, they didn’t cooperate.
As Stuart the Viking said, they had some pretty warlike honking when they got riled.
They have to honk every time they flap their wings. It’s how they’re built. So, if you find a pond in the woods, you will hear them fly, still in formation, through the trees, and closer to you than they usually would.
Sounds like a dogfight. Combination of barking and a crowd shouting. The “musical” aspect vanishes entirely.
Ever since I got my carry permit I’ve said that I’m more likely to have to draw my sidearm to protect my dogs from either other dogs or geese than I am to draw on some thug. My thirty pound schnauzers just don’t seem to grok that a fifteen pound bird can whup their fuzzy little butts.
And I just know that explaining to the cops why I had to air out a goose is going to be such a fun experience.
Well, y’see officer, I was just walking my dogs, minding my own business, when these two geese came out of nowhere and…
I agree that swans are a bit more aggressive than geese. I worked as a security guard at a business park many years ago, and the lake next to the main building had two resident swans. The male was quite protective of the female, and would attack anyone who came too close. He made that mistake with me one cold rainy Sunday morning, and I ran to meet his charge, and knocked him ass over teakettle with a forearm when we met. I thought I’d killed him. I looked around, wondering if someone saw me kill the swan, but it was so early that the it was barely light out. The swan slowly came to, staggering to his feet, and gave me a long, long look – – but never attacked me again.
I have a funny story that would make those pita bread ewoks crawl deep into my lower intestine, set up a wooden floor, and start to square dance. It involves geese, and a VERY mad boss. I will not tell it here. Or, anywhere else, FTM. Most birds are afraid of humans. Want to ‘figger out why crows will team up and attack hawk in flight? It might take an act of congress.
From Microlivestock: Little-Known Small Animals with a Promising Economic Future Geese make good “watchdogs.” They once saved ancient Rome from the attacking Gauls, and today the help guard modern missiles on military bases in Europe. At the Ballantine bonded warehouses near Glasgow, Scotland, more that 100 geese zealously protect 240 million liters of maturing whiskeys. No matter what the weather or time of day, some of the flock remain awake and alert. Keener of ear and sharper of eye than any dog, they cannot be duped by any blandishments. Since this feathered force was formed in 1959 there has never been a theft at the warehouses. Also, the birds keep the grounds weed free and the grass clipped.
My great-aunt taught me over fifty years ago to use a broom when the cob and pen decided I couldn’t cross the barnyard unmolested. She was with me one day shortly afterwards and saw the geese gather up the goslings and flee around the corner of the barn when I came into view. “What did you do to those damned geese?” she asked. “I used the broom, just like you said.” “Show me.” I took up the broom and held the corn end and swung the handle end. I went for deep center field with the broomstick and the cob’s head. They never bothered me again. By the way, watch out for the knobs on the leading edge of the goose’s wing. It’s as hard as a baseball and can leave quite a knot on your head.