Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Geese of West Des Moines

this one was found at the parking lot near Mercy Hospital in West Des Moines.  Nothing here but the sand mess left from dealing with slick icy roads.

I do not know if it has anything to do with climate change but the goose population of Des Moines has skyrocketed since I have moved here some 2 decades ago.  Ride through Water Works Park and head to Mullets.  Geese everywhere living off the river and ponds.  During the coldest days if you ride along the Des Moines River Trail you can see them in significant numbers in the open waters of the river.  Bald eagles are there too which begs the question, why don't eagles eat geese?  But in West Des Moines the geese has adapted to urban life.

During the winter of  2012/13 I used to ride on Ashworth Rd to get to my place of employment in West Des Moines, Iowa.  On the way home I would have to take Pleasant to Woodland.  Somewhere here there are apartment complexes that geese like to live.  No pool, no pond.  Snow, streets and parking lots.  Maybe a few trees.  WHY???  I would ask myself.  One day two of these dirty fowl were staring into the sliding glass doors of a flat as if they were watching television.  Mind blowing.

This year I take the direct route--trail, Buffalo Rd and Westown Pkwy to get to work.  Sure enough there are geese along here as well.  No ponds, no streams, just streets, parking lots and businesses.  I usually see a few across the street from red Lobster at 545 am.  Weird.

Now there exists good habitat for these birds in the form of man made ponds along Westown Pkwy.  But the corporations that own them employ tactics to keep them away.  I have seen a company called Goose-Be-Gone come out.  A person with 2 dogs will walk around the corporate lake and chase the birds away.  Another placed electric fences and cut out wolf silhouette around their pond.  I kinda like the Goose-Be-Gone method.  I'd love to get paid to walk and scare bird with a pair of dogs.

So why do they do this?  Because geese leave green OB tampon sized turds on fitness trails.  That's why.

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