Skip to comments.CA: Hungry geese a peck of trouble for Humboldt Bay ranchers
Posted on 04/24/2005 8:44:16 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
EUREKA, Calif. (AP) - Honk if you're glad the geese are gone.
Humboldt Bay ranchers are overjoyed that hungry hordes of the messy fowl are finally on their way north to nest. Ravenous Aleutian cackling geese have been eating up their pasture.
The Aleutian geese, once an endangered species, now number at least 60,000 and many like to feast on the sweet spring grasses of the Humboldt Bay bottomlands.
They'll nest in the wind-chilled Aleutian Islands - then eventually head back to the land of the worried ranchers to fortify themselves again.
A survey last month found 10,000 of the chubby birds grazing on a 1/8240-acre ranch near Arcata.
The rancher, Peter Bussman, estimates he lost up to 60 percent of the grasses he needs to feed his livestock for the three to four months the birds were there.
In some pastures the birds chomped 10-inch-high grasses down to a mere two inches - then tackled the tender new shoots.
"Once they get short grass, they keep hitting it," Bussman said.
An analysis of 5,000 acres of pasture land in the Mad River bottoms found the geese were responsible for up to $450,000 in lost grazing.
Aleutian geese spend about 90 percent of their day eating.
Officials are trying to control the damage by increasing hunting of the birds and shooing them off private lands to wildlife refuges.
Oregon officials worry that such measures could scare the birds into their state, where the Aleutian geese are still an endangered species and can't be hunted.
The regeneration of the Aleutian geese population is a success story - for the birds, said Bussman. "Now we just have to find solutions to feed the geese."
Gee$e Movin' On Ping!
Any pics??? Expensive arent they??
"Aleutian geese spend about 90 percent of their day eating."
Since there are so many of them now, we know what they do the other 10% of their time.
Very expensive as they eat and eat ..
Wow...thats a fatty!!! Sure is pretty though.
I can see why you would be interested in an Aleutian goose thread. You aren't -- one of -- them -- are you?
Well not really. Geese scare me..the bite. Have a "thing" for ducks though. I have over 4,000 of them.
OOOPs. didnt take the golf into effect. Nothing like being chased by a darn goose that is mean, huh?? Can wreck a good round of golf.
Nothing like getting one within 10 ft of the pin on a par 3, and then having to put over 5lbs of goose poop!
Whoa!! That's a lot of quacking. It does explain the name. I had a couple of pet Muscovys as a kid -- not real pretty, and they bit me all the time, but fiercely loyal in their own twisted way. Feathers to ya!!
I think they bite to show you that your loved in their own ducky way!!
Hey, there is a claim that lead birdshot gets ingested in these birds and ends up killing them. I suggest lacing the field with lead shot even though I believe it is a falsehood.
"I take it you don't play golf."
Yeah but he uses the patented four inch long "Green Medalist.
No when those geese eat lead shot the shot turns to sh*t.