Geese on the Wilder Side of Oakland County

Two geese and their goslings swim through duck-weed covered water. A painted turtle sunbathes on a log close by.


Not all Oakland County geese spend their days grazing out in the open on lawns, golf courses, the greens of schools and college campuses, and along the shorelines of our multi-sport lakes. Nor do all geese exhibit aggressive behavior when a human meanders too close to a nesting site that’s hidden in office-plaza shrubbery or along a popular and well-traversed trail. Some are more reclusive and head to secluded swamps and woodland ponds when it’s nesting time. This is their story and brings to mind the first sentence of Aldo Leopold’s classic book of nature essays, A Sand County Almanac (Leopold, 1949): “There are some who can live with wild things, and some who cannot.” I look to the woodland geese as wild things.

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Sights, Sounds, Scents and Signs of Spring’s Approach


The confirmation of spring’s approach arrived on very long legs and boasted a bright red-capped head. It was just before sunrise when I spotted three statuesque Sandhill Cranes standing motionless on ice near a parking lot at Addison Oaks County Park. After a hilly, two-hour hike in a mostly snow-covered landscape, I returned to that melting patch of ice just in time to watch one of those red-crested, long-legged beauties of the wetlands stretching its wings in the morning sun. That sighting alone confirmed what the calendar already said: The final countdown to spring is well underway. Continue reading

Canada Geese, “We Love Oakland County!”


A small pond carpeted with duckweed is perfect natural feeding habitat for geese on the wilder side of Oakland County.

A small pond carpeted with duckweed is a perfect natural feeding habitat for geese on the wilder side of Oakland County.

Canada Geese have a thriving love affair with Oakland County. That is not surprising as one fact is without dispute: Oakland County is a premier goose habitat. This is not because nature made it that way. We are inviting geese by our passionate love for lawns.

Glaciers sculpted our landscape some 11,000 years ago, creating thousands of lakes and ponds, but it is our present day habit of how we maintain our lawns, coupled with the presence of golf courses and waterside green spaces, that create habitat ideal for the proliferation of the species.

Closely cropped grass near water is an all you can eat salad bar for geese.

Canada Geese numbers are smaller on the wilder, more wooded side of Oakland County, However, the story is very different in many suburban and urban landscapes where their numbers soar.

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