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November 02, 2006


The County Clerk

BRAVO! Outstanding! Take a universal story and make it local. Take a local story and make it universal. Well done.

These birds are nothing short of magnificent - as you well know. They honk and that's good too.

Thanks for writing this.

(And that PHOTO! Holy smokes!)

The County Clerk

Is this photo on Flickr?


Awesome shot, Belltown, and a great post. Yay for metrobloggin' for pointing at it.


oops. Seattlest, not metroblogging :)


We've geese by the thousands here in Anchorage for most of the summer. Staggering waves of them just "V'd" up and flew south last month, well after the cold had set in. They really don't seem to want to leave till every last blade of grass is covered with snow. There's an interesting history with population control here. In 1995 an USAF AWACS taking off from Elmendorf, AFB in Anchorage went down after sucking a number of Canada geese through one of the engines. Before this, geese were a nuisance; afterwards they were a menace. It's a aviation-centric lifestyle here, and the choice was made without much hue and cry. Geese populations had exploded from a few hundred in the 1970's to about 5000 birds, and these were reduced to a managed population of around 2000 in the few short seasons after the crash. Interestingly they did this without resorting (much) to lethal methods. Hundreds of eggs are harvested annually, and goslings are rounded up and transplanted outside of town, since they will eventually migrate back to where they learned to fly. The harvested eggs are eaten by local natives and newcomers alike. The city replanted many parks with natural vegetation, removing the lawns that are apparently the perfect and preferred buffet of the geese. It turned out to be a model program from the aviation perspective as well as for Audubon Society and associated groups. The geese population is strong without leaving their calling cards all over the ball fields and yards, the Natives get to continue practicing another form of a traditional subsistence harvest, and there's much less chance that geese are knocking planes out of the sky. It is sad to see them fleeing south every year. It's one of the most definite signs that fall is really over.


Thanks for stopping by Jared - many communities are faced with these nice > nuisance > menace relationships. I'm glad ours have addressed the issue in a humane, reasoned way.

Your geese are gone and winter is setting in. Our geese hang all year - the grass gets greener in the winter and there's rarely any snow down here at sea level. But birds from up north are beginning to arrive on the Puget Sound. Snow geese are moving into the Skagit flats, and soon the Goldeneyes will arrive here in Elliott Bay.

The County Clerk

I still can't get over this photo.

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