Students on the campus of Springfield College anticipate Stiyuka for most of the academic year. One of the warning signs that the beloved week is approaching is the first feel of fresh, warm Spring air… or the surplus of geese feces littering the sidewalks.
“Walking back to [International Hall] is like walking on landmines with all the [surprises] on the side walk,” said sophomore Sam Miller.
Springfield accepts as many geese on campus as they do students without making them pay tuition like the rest of the student body. They eat Cheney dining-hall food, they loiter the greens and wake up the entire student body at 6 a.m.
Many students have personally been victimized by the geese. They have been juked out, squawked, and hissed at on walks across campus.
“I got bitten by one,” senior Harry Davis said.
There are many misunderstandings about the geese on campus surrounding the nature of their beings and more importantly when their cute little chickies will bless the campus.
The reason why the geese have been unusually grumpy the last month or so is because it was mating season for them! In the upcoming weeks the geese will gather twigs and bark to make home improvements on their nests. Most geese tend to reuse their nests from the previous year if possible. They really do have a ‘home’.
Geese are unusual animals in the sense that they mate for life. If their mate is sick or dying, the other will go to the extent of not flying south for the winter to be with their mate in their final days, or until good health.
If a mate dies, the other will not remate for the rest of their life and remain in solitude and mourn the death of their partner. However, this does not mean that the goose will be forever alone.
Multiple families of geese bond together to form a group, called a gaggle. Within the gaggle there is a hierarchy system. There are one or two “sentries” who rotate guard duty while the rest of the gaggle feeds.
The gaggle will migrate together and fly the distance down south in the commonly seen ‘V’ formation. The purpose of the formation is to reduce air resistance. The goose at point of the formation will fly as far as possible before they get tired and retreat to the back. The other geese in the latter half of the formation will often honk in encouragement.
A ground of geese/ganders on the ground are called a gaggle, however when they are airborn they are referred to as a wedge or skein
According to peta.org, geese have emotions and feelings much like dogs and cats. They have a long memory which allows them to retreat south annually and find their way back north to their nests when mating season begins to roll around.
Although geese aren’t very interesting animals in the animal kingdom, I just wait for the time of year when the babies start walking around. Mother geese have a gestation period of geese is about 30 days. So, very soon the fuzzy ones will be amongst us.
Twenty-four hours after the geese hatch the gaggle will walk down to nearby water so the goslings can drink and wash. It is said that a day old gosling can dive up to 30-40 feet in water. By three months, a gosling will be able to fly. At three years old, a gosling has reached full maturity and will look for a mate for life – which answers the question as to why students at Springfield tend to see the vicious monsters in pairs at all times.
Despite the fact that a single goose will defecate every 12 minutes, they too will find a mate for life. And if that doesn’t give you hope, I am not entirely sure what will.