For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals
As many of you living in the Midwest of the United States may have noticed, there have been lots of geese flying over recently. You can hear them before you see them, oftentimes, with their loud honks and big dark wings sweeping across the sky. Now that Winter is beginning and it’s getting colder, they’re making their way out, and into warmer climates hundreds of miles away. But why do they undertake the journey? This blog post aims to answer that question.
First, let’s talk a little bit about geese. The one we’ll be talking specifically about today is the Canada Goose. The Canada Geese are relatively large birds, able to grow up to 14 pounds, and are commonly brown and white in color. They are a pretty common sight (in America, anyway), in colder or temperate regions of Northern America. As this blog post discusses, the Canada Goose is a migratory animal, meaning that large groups of them move a long distance, often in a seasonal pattern, and travel in a V-shape in the air. They are also a type of waterfowl, meaning a large bird that dwells in water and other aquatic places like lakes and swamps, although they can also go on land. As their population rises, the Canada Goose has began to be seen as a pest.
Next, let’s discuss the actual migrational patterns of the geese, and then the reasons behind it. Their migrations are seasonal, meaning that they change with the seasons. They live in Northern Canada during the Summer, Southern North America during the Winter, and the middle strip of America year round. They can be seen traveling South during September to November, as it starts getting colder in those regions.’
Now onto why they do it. Contrary to popular belief, escaping the cold isn’t the main motivating factor behind geese and other birds migrating, although the main reasons are still connected to the weather. It is mostly because of the food and resources for nesting around the geographical area. Geese eat insects, and as Winter comes, the insect level goes down, thus their need to travel somewhere else. Some birds actually withstand the cold temperatures as long as there is food around the location. one of the main issues with global warming is how it affects the way that seasonally migrational animals migrate. As a result of the global warming, the reason for migrating–food—has been removed. It doesn’t get cold enough for the insects to die off, and, if the insects don’t die off, the geese no longer need to migrate, and that leads to problems. As the climate warms, some of the geese have started to stay in one place, causing them to be labelled as pests because of overpopulation. Also, geese haven’t been traveling as far south as they used to. The shift in seasonal animal migration is one of the reasons that global warming is detrimental to our Earth. Can you come up with some others?