The Canadians Are Coming~

I have heard quite a few Americans talking about moving to Canada, (including yours truly on occasion).  But I never hear Canadians talking about emigrating to the USA.  So I was very surprised when these guys showed up in force on Holler lakes. They haven’t been here before.

I also rarely see Canadians squabble amongst each other, but these guys certainly do! We were hanging out with a congenial group of happy gooseys, when all of a sudden, an invading nautical army launched themselves across the lake, to drive the peaceful gooseys away!

Come to think of it, they do kinda remind me, just a bit, of Canadian hockey players……

Anyhoo, the hockey player geese certainly did not hesitate to ram their way ashore and displace the more peaceful gooseys. 

There was lots of hissing and honking, shoving, and general mayhem, just like a hockey game!


The peaceful gooseys were so upset by this hostile behavior, they just packed up their picnics, and swam away. I knew just how they felt. I tend to respond, to even a hint of conflict, in the exact same way.


The smartest goose of all, stayed away from everyone, hung out by himself, and took a nap on the hiking trail.


He made friends with my son, smart goose.


I suspect the fires up north confused these gooseys and they decided to fly further south and check out the real estate. Apparently, they liked what they saw, cuz’ there are a whole bunch of them here! I hope they decide to stay all winter, and come back every year, because I love Canadians! 

Cheers to you from The Holler’s new Canadians~

252 thoughts on “The Canadians Are Coming~

  1. Hello
    Cindy,it has been a long time since I visited your site to leave a short message.
    Birds don’t have Passport and we don’t have the technology to build walls in the air to stop them .
    They are free to come and go .
    Thanks for the excellent job you are doing,I always enjoy your pictures.
    Happy Holidays 🎊🎉🍾👍

    • So happy you stopped by and said hello! You make such excellent and very true points. And lucky birds, unlike us, can fly away at the first hint of trouble <3 🕊️

  2. Those last two certainly look quite happy! It’s very amusing to me to see the different personalities in those geese, some happy, some mad, some silly. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. If they’re anything like the ones that came to North Carolina when we lived there they’ll just set up housekeeping. Ours made nests, laid eggs, and raised their young near water. 🙂 — Suzanne

  4. I suspect you are right about their avoiding the fire and smoke. We have seen few of them here so far this year. They may have just flown right over. Who knows? They may take a permanent liking to your warm resort (and lack of hunters!).

  5. Bloody things. Unlike most Canadians I’ve met these fellas are bullies and dominate local species. We’ve had Canadian geese in our London park’s for years and boy I wish they’d go home. Still we have to make good, don’t we and we can’t stop birds going where the food is. At least they’re not as bad as the parakeets who are now taking over….

    • Oh my, you have no idea how much I wish I had parakeets wild at The Holler. I bred and raised them as a kid. I know that invasive species can cause serious problems in habitats though so I sympathize with your predicament.

      • Yes it’s that balance isn’t it? We have a flock of about twenty that sit in a birch at the end of the garden and last year we have four eating one sunflower at the same time. Talk about shredded! They are stunning in flight and the colours startling against the muted tones of our indigenous birds. So I wouldn’t be without them in truth, just wish, like a two year old, they’d learn to share!!

  6. Beautiful photographs Cindy! We often have Canadian geese stop over in the Scottish Highlands during the Winter as well as pink footed geese – they seem to get along peacefully 🙂💖

  7. How fascinating that you haven’t seen the Canadians at the Holler Lakes before. We have lots of Canada Geese here in Christchurch, permanently. I guess they like it. 🙂 Glad you have such good company in the Holler.

  8. Excellent photos! Our Canadians came years ago, then stayed year round. Some corporate headquarters even had to hire plastic swans to keep them away from their ponds. It worked, sometimes.

  9. hahah Every year they complain about the cold so we kick them out! But like any good Canadian we let them come home again. We are happy to share them with you for a little while. Who wouldn’t want to visit The Holler?

  10. Cindy, be careful what you wish for. 🙂 These guys are good when there are not so many of them. Otherwise they are disaster. Sometimes they behave really aggressively if you trespass their area.

  11. We have a lot of geese that over winter here. I don’t know how they do it. The one problem is they tend to poop all over the place so you have to watch your step, Cindy.
    Leslie 😉

  12. Wonderful photos! I also love Canadians. Years ago when my kiddos were small, we visited Rochester, Minnesota, south of where we lived in Minneapolis. On the outskirts of Rochester we stopped at a small lake adjacent to the town’s electric power plant. And there we saw hundreds, maybe thousands, of Canadian geese. They were an amazing sight! Many came up on the shore looking for handouts from human admirers. My son and daughter were enthralled. Most amazing, we learned that the geese stayed there all winter because the power plant kept the lake relatively warm, how I’m not sure. I wonder if the geese still winter there.

    • Lots of aquatic birds do this. Trumpeter Swans stay all winter in thermally heated segments of The Yellowstone River, and some Icelandic swans stay in thermally heated lakes year round. Birds are smart. It must have been thrilling to see thousands of them!

  13. I am sure that you’ll never get rid of them! I just hope the peaceful ones find some sweet real estate of their own. I love Canadian Geese! You can make pals, okay they might nip at you here and there, but it doesn’t hurt, much. Beautiful post!

  14. We lived on a lake and Canadian geese were a big problem – mainly their droppings. They loved to come up on the grass and nothing we did would keep them off. The feces have a lot of disease in them so I hope these “Canadians” stay in Canada 🙂 After living with them for 20 years – no thank you!

    • I hear you. Aquatic birds have very active digestive systems! It is one reason you may not want them as domestic pets. But they are plant eaters so of course, we don’t even want to comparatively discuss, human digestive systems, and where all that goes. In SoCal, it goes partially treated, into the sea. You can smell it from miles away.

  15. We get large flocks passing through every fall. They are quite the dramatic sight and my heart often yearns to join them on the trip south. Because of their large amount of offal, they are not too popular around here, running up the e-coli in lakes and ponds. Oh, yeah, and these guys can take down airliners, ya know! 😉

  16. It’s such a handsome goose. I got very excited seeing them on a trip to Canada – it seemed the right place to see them, although they do live in the UK, now, too.

    • So many people from the UK have just told me this, which I didn’t know.
      I love the fact, that forget airplanes, these goosies agreed to fly themselves to the UK, and, apparently, the Scottish Highlands!
      How great is this! They fly over continents. They agree, “Hey, we’re moving to the UK.”
      I love the mystery of bird migration, and adaptive relocation.
      Maybe it’s true that birds are feathered dinosaurs, and will outlast us mammals.

  17. We would love the have you! These are beautiful creatures – and very smart. They take up space on the Vancouver Seawall – even on our new bike lanes. And guess who moves – NOT the Canadians.

  18. Loads of Canadians hanging out here at this time of the year Cindy. They fill up fields with their grazing. They don’t seem to do as much talking astray do at other times of the year, however. I suspect these guys are moving on, taking a few days to restock on their way south. The locals are always honking to us as they fly back and forth between their morning and evening locales. I have never seen one group chase out another. Interesting. –Curt

    • I have never seen anything like this behavior, but Matt (wildlife biologist) was with us, and he brought them to us. We were doing separate stuff on the lake, and I saw this man in the distance crouching, with all the geese approaching. It wasn’t until I got close that I realized it was my son, so I walked more rapidly to not scare the geese, but get the photos. When the invading domineers arrived, we just laughed and loved it all. The wild world is the best world, but I don’t need to tell you this.

    • Every bird can be very aggressive if they think you are a threat to them. So the key is not to act in ways they see as aggressive. This is exactly the same strategy I used in 30 years of psychotherapy. And the same rule I follow photographing every wild animal. We are all kinda the same this way. We respond badly to aggression. But, I sincerely doubt you even have to think about this. You, by nature, are not obtrusive, aggressive, or insensitive. You probably watched other people get attacked by a bird because they were this way. You are not. Birds will like you. <3

  19. These bold, honking geese are the bane of our lives. Never mind the poop! Feel free to visit us anytime, Cindy. We Canadians will welcome you with open arms. Merry Christmas. Love xx

        • Yeah, frustrating. Their populations used to be in serious decline, but are not now. At The Holler organic gardeners and mulch makers come pick the stuff up free by truck load to make mulch and fertilizer, which they process organically, and then sell at a significant mark-up, to all sorts of people, like me! It makes for fabulous blooms in the spring!

    • It makes complete sense, watching contented wild creatures interacting in their natural environment is calming to the psyche of human beings, after all, we are animals too and part of the natural world.

  20. Very funny, Cindy. I’ve never seen Canadians with such mucky feet. lol I do wonder if it’s the loss of habitats from all the forest fires in Canada and the U.S. that has brought these strong survivors to your area.

  21. Oh, Cindy, you’ve outdone yourself on this one. This has to be one of the cutest, funniest posts I’ve seen in a while. The pictures and caption are spot on and I couldn’t help but laugh my way through the story. Thank you for sharing. If I don’t talk to you over the next couple of weeks have a happy holiday!

  22. Your post made me smile, Cindy! We are just leaving Canada today after spending a few weeks with our son. A very peaceful place and a respite from the antics of Donald D.–our duck-in-chief.

  23. Honk Hooooonkkk! Canadian coming through, LOL 😀
    These scrappy geese are missing all the snow action at home 😀 Smart ! I must confess, the golf courses here in town consider them a bit of a nuisance. It’s most likely all the poop they drop, ha! Brown golf balls anyone? We lived at a lake for almost 25 years and they were daily regulars on our lawn. They’d show up in gangs of 20 and munch on the lawn, all the while pooping. This would usually happen 10 minutes before you expected company. We’d have to rush around with a 10 galloon bucket to scoop poop ! One year, I fashioned a scare-a-crow out of hockey sticks. She wore a flowery sundress, straw hat and pearls, LOL. A day later they ignored her and marched themselves up the launch onto the lawn. I did enjoy the baby goslings swimming around the lake in formation in the spring, but they grew up so fast. Welcome to the club 😀 xK

    • Aquatic birds have such impressive digestive systems don’t they! No need for exlax for these beauties. And they have no hesitancy whatsoever about laying it on the line, or the grass, or the pier, or your porch! Maybe humans who tend to feel a bit, errrrrr, irregular, might follow their lead and eat a ton of aquatic grasses and plants!

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  25. What a fun story to go with those great photos. Just goes to prove not all Canadians are nice. Just most of them. Your son looks like he’s enjoying his new pal there. I hope they stay too. Everything is confused these days with weather changes and fires, etc.

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