Simple explanation for “brave geese” crossing the road in Wascana Park this summer

Its not uncommon to see Canada geese crossing the road in and around Wascana Park, but this year it seems like there are many doing so at the same time which can cause some traffic delays or some birds getting hit.

Sarah Romuld, an ecologist with Wascana Centre, says the birds strutting across the road seemingly not caring what is happening around them is not strange and is called gang brooding as families team up and stick together.

“Gang brooding is fairly common in urban settings so in an urban park when you have predators like off-leash dogs, coyotes or even people, they are all perceived threats for an adult goose so it becomes a learned behaviour.” Romuld said. ‘What we are seeing this year that is uncommon is that groups of families are sticking together and staying around one another which causes the delays when it comes time for them to cross the road.

Those crossings can be frustrating for drivers as they wait for the geese to cross. In some cases, it has resulted in some birds being hit because the driver could not stop.  Romuld would like motorists to stop and let the geese cross, but she understands that may not be possible because of speed and what is behind you as stopping or slowing down could result in you being rear-ended.

While some think there are more geese in the park this year, Romuld says that is not the case and that Wascana Centre officials cleaning up after the birds to keep the park in as great a shape as possible.


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