Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where do Geese Come From?

Whilst desperately (not really) trying to find an American Black Duck for my year list (fail), I stopped by Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan. Upon exiting my jeep, I immediately noticed a pair of Canada Geese, both with U.S. Fish and Wildlife metal bands on their legs. Obviously this brought up the age old question of "where do geese come from." They let me walk right up to them, and I was excited at the chance to use my camera to document this find. I've never seen geese in Lansing with FWS bands on them before, maybe because I wasn't really looking. I took pictures of the bands at multiple angles to assure a full combo was had.

I continued on my merry way, only to find another Canada Goose banded, this one sporting the old style FWS band. Peep the pics below.

The older style FWS bands, used quite a while ago.
As you can see, the first two band combination are very close in number, only separated by one digit. Since these geese were acting as a pair, I can only wonder if they have been nesting together for a while. I sent the combos out to the bird banding lab, and will have detailed information about their banding location soon. I did get a little information already, though. The first two birds, with the newer bling, were both banded in 2002 in Michigan. I should know more about the location later.

The goose with the older style band was banded somewhere in Michigan in 1997! That makes the goose at least 14 years old, surviving at least 14 hunting seasons!

Does anyone know of goose banding in the general area? I didn't think anyone was really banding geese in the Lansing area, but I could be, and probably am, wrong. Check your local geese to see if they are hauling around any extra weight with them. I've never submitted anything to the banding lab before, it is a pretty fun experience.

I then heard a  Pileated Woodpecker, another overdue year bird, give off some loud, high cackles. Shortly after, I saw this robin and slayed him with my lens. Actually it isn't that great of a picture, I need to learn how to use my camera.
Just your typical Turdus

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