A Problem From Hell (Canada)
It's that sweet bird content you sick fucks crave
I’m a committed ally to all rats and pigeons, the rightful rulers of the city, and I also support the raccoons and possums of the suburbs. To not only survive but thrive in an environment fully overhauled by humans, to in fact thrive better than most humans in those environments, is something we should all admire. Most pest species are just insanely good at working the rules we’ve created, like little James Hardens getting to the line 50 times a game. We’re the ones who decided the world should be like this, to better serve our comfort, and we’re mad when another animal comes along and beats us at our own game? Come on man, grow up.
But man try as I might, I can’t summon the same level of respect for the hated Canada Goose. The only bird I genuinely don’t like. Filthy, stupid, aggressive, huge honking assholes. Ruiner of fields, polluter of aquifers. Reader I confess: I’ve considered pulling a Happy Mondays on the rude gang who haunt Derring Park near my apartment.
First of all the name galls me, because “Canadian Goose” rolls much nicer and feels like a fair (if inaccurate) descriptor, while the canonical “Canada Goose” is awkward and confusing. And - this kills me - did you know that in the early 20th century we came close to hunting these cowards to extinction? In the 1950s the giant (now-common) subspecies of Canada Geese were thought to be extinct, until some jag in Minnesota found a flock, leading to a state and federally-coordinated project to breed, restock, and release new Canada Geese flocks into the wild. By 1981, 6,000 had been released in North Dakota. That seed birthed the plague that now stretches to every corner of the United States and Canada.
If it feels like there are more of these fuckers every year, thats because there are. The population has exploded in the past few decades, due to rising temperatures, increased restrictions on game hunting, and the ongoing spread of human-made fields and parks that the Geese take to. It is only since the 1990s that Canada Geese have come to be year-long inhabitants fo much of the continental US, preferring in particular the temperate climate of the American Northeast.
This might be the thing that grinds my gears the most, that these guys really feel like loiterers, carpet-baggers. With rats and pigeons and raccoons and such you can fairly consider them all residents - their parents lived in your town and their 10,000 children will also live and die there. Canada Geese quite literally swoop in, set up shop for a few hours, leave a metric ton of hideous green shit, and then fuck off to ruin some other municipal park somewhere else.
What to do with these...things? I place some hope that large predators, another group of animals who have staged a comeback in recent years, can help curb the population over the coming decades. It likely won’t be enough - people don’t hunt these geese and there is little public appetite for annual cullings, which I am just inhumane enough to personally support. Or hell, maybe CRISPR can help shrink them or make them shit less, they’re looking to try that kind of gene editing approach with the Cane Toad in Australia, why not with our local menaces?
I don’t hold out hope. Maybe Canada Geese are a kind of living indictment of what we’ve done with our country. All the earth moving, the globe heating, the wasteful expanses of lawn and golf course: can we really fight something perfectly made for the world we’ve molded? I don’t know, but I am looking into the legalities around purchasing rat poison in bulk.