Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why did the goose cross the road?

To annoy the suburban driver. The suburbs of Chicago is an interesting ecosystem. My wife and I grew up in a semi-rural area in central Michigan and moved to the suburbs 16 years ago. In our first year here, we saw more wildlife than in the previous 30 years living in the country.

Our yard has been host to deer, foxes, raccoons, opossums and ducks. Canada geese are year-round residents and up until a few years ago, were multiplying out of control, making a noisy mess of parks, ponds and golf courses. But the numbers have tapered off of late, almost unnoticed.

The reason? The rise of a predator that until now, did not exist in great numbers. So what species is thinning the goose population in the suburbs? No, it's not Toyotas, although they've done their fair share to cull the waterfowl. It's coyotes. They're finding abundant food in the way of goose eggs and young geese. This year I've seen a couple of coyotes crossing the road as I've passed through forest preserves on my way to work.

So this bird may have escaped getting his goose cooked by the Camry, but he still faces an ever-growing menace lurking ever closer.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2007 James Jordan.


Cedarwaxwing said...

Lucky goose & great shot!

Yeah, the coyotes have pretty much killed all the farm cats that my in-laws had on their farm on outskirts of town.
-on another note--
I've been hoping to see photos of the hot air balloon fest that took place in Elgin last weekend. I'm in town, but didn't know about it until after the fact. (and I even heard a balloon over my parent's house at 6 am on Sunday) Was hoping you went so I could at least see some photos.

Wanda said...

The goose seems undaunted by the whole scene!! Merrily on his way!

Miss Trashahassee said...

Love it! Love it!

sarala said...

The geese have taken over the city (Chicago) too. We also have had quite a crop of rabbits lately. I have heard of coyote sightings in Chicago proper but have never seen one. Raccoons visit often; we had a family in our attic once. That is not cool.
Nice shot.