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CA: Hungry geese a peck of trouble for Humboldt Bay ranchers
Bakersfield Californian ^ | 4/24/05 | AP - Eureka

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."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: California
KEYWORDS: aleutian; california; geese; humboldt; hungry; peck; trouble

1 posted on 04/24/2005 8:44:17 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: tubebender

Gee$e Movin' On Ping!


2 posted on 04/24/2005 8:45:21 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Any pics??? Expensive arent they??


3 posted on 04/24/2005 8:45:25 PM PDT by duck duck goose
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To: NormsRevenge

"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.


4 posted on 04/24/2005 8:49:50 PM PDT by ProudVet77
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To: duck duck goose

Very expensive as they eat and eat ..

5 posted on 04/24/2005 8:53:04 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: ProudVet77

LOLOL


6 posted on 04/24/2005 8:53:23 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ...... The War on Terrorism is the ultimate 'faith-based' initiative.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wow...thats a fatty!!! Sure is pretty though.


7 posted on 04/24/2005 8:54:49 PM PDT by duck duck goose
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To: duck duck goose

I can see why you would be interested in an Aleutian goose thread. You aren't -- one of -- them -- are you?


8 posted on 04/24/2005 8:55:12 PM PDT by speedy
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To: duck duck goose
"Sure is pretty though."
I take it you don't play golf.
9 posted on 04/24/2005 8:57:44 PM PDT by ProudVet77
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To: speedy

Well not really. Geese scare me..the bite. Have a "thing" for ducks though. I have over 4,000 of them.


10 posted on 04/24/2005 8:58:06 PM PDT by duck duck goose
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To: ProudVet77

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.


11 posted on 04/24/2005 9:00:04 PM PDT by duck duck goose
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To: duck duck goose
i bet that the stuff they leave behind would make your mandatory soft spikes a real challenge to clean so much for the clean and replace rule
12 posted on 04/24/2005 9:06:13 PM PDT by mt tom
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To: NormsRevenge
I wonder if you could get dogs to herd them so that they would graze lightly while fertilizing the forage?
13 posted on 04/24/2005 9:06:33 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are REALLY stupid.)
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To: duck duck goose

Nothing like getting one within 10 ft of the pin on a par 3, and then having to put over 5lbs of goose poop!


14 posted on 04/24/2005 9:11:49 PM PDT by ProudVet77
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To: ProudVet77

EWWWW!!


15 posted on 04/24/2005 9:14:25 PM PDT by duck duck goose
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To: duck duck goose

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!!


16 posted on 04/24/2005 9:16:16 PM PDT by speedy
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To: speedy

I think they bite to show you that your loved in their own ducky way!!


17 posted on 04/24/2005 9:17:46 PM PDT by duck duck goose
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


18 posted on 04/24/2005 9:41:57 PM PDT by taxesareforever
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To: ProudVet77

"I take it you don't play golf."

Yeah but he uses the patented four inch long "Green Medalist.


19 posted on 04/25/2005 12:40:28 AM PDT by beaver fever
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To: taxesareforever

No when those geese eat lead shot the shot turns to sh*t.


20 posted on 04/25/2005 12:44:06 AM PDT by beaver fever
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To: beaver fever

LOL!


21 posted on 04/25/2005 1:01:44 AM PDT by taxesareforever
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To: NormsRevenge; dennisw
Better than the Muscovy Ducks that would crap all over my neighborhood when I lived in Miami.

Dennis, didn't you say once that Muscovy Ducks were good eating>

22 posted on 04/25/2005 1:03:12 AM PDT by Clemenza (I am NOT A NUMBER, I am a FREE MAN!!!)
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To: Clemenza

Muscovy duck is a gourmet item... and yes I've eaten some.


23 posted on 04/25/2005 4:58:24 AM PDT by dennisw (takemetotheriver dropmeinthewater)
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To: NormsRevenge
In some pastures the birds chomped 10-inch-high grasses down to a mere two inches - then tackled the tender new shoots.

I need a couple of these birds in my yard after all the excess rain we got this year.

24 posted on 04/25/2005 6:30:46 AM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (You should be TERRIfied that you may someday be SCHIAVOed to death!)
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To: NormsRevenge; forester
Thanks Norm. The flats around Humboldt Bay are ideal for milk cows and cattle because the pastures grow through the summer due to the sub-irrigation from the rivers. These geese have outgrown their habitat. Here is the Times-Standard full article..

AFLAC!

25 posted on 04/25/2005 7:58:55 AM PDT by tubebender (We child proofed our house but they still get in...)
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To: tubebender
On March 2 at a ranch Peter Bussman leases near the Mad River outside Arcata west of U.S. Highway 101, 10,000 Aleutian geese were counted on 240 acres."For once I believed the count," Bussman said. He estimates a 50 to 60 percent loss to his cattle operation for the three to four months the birds are there -- and this was an excellent year for grass.

Thanks for the ping. Because these numbers got garbled in the intial post, I thought that this correction should be pointed out....that is alot of geese on one area.

26 posted on 04/25/2005 10:13:01 AM PDT by forester (An economy that is overburdened by government eventually results in collapse)
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To: tubebender

Thursday or was it Friday, Rush Limbaugh was talking to someone from Calif. and he said ,"I was in Sacramento for four years and loved California, except for Humboldt County, well... there are a few good places, even in Humboldt County." LOL


27 posted on 04/25/2005 10:21:29 AM PDT by fish hawk (I am only one, but I am not the only one.)
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