A day in the life of Chicago’s Canada Geese | Feature | Chicago Reader

A day in the life of Chicago’s Canada Geese 

The birds are flocking to the city for survival.

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A group of Canada Geese wakes up after a night sleeping on icy waters near the iconic Navy Pier on Friday, January 29, 2021. Scientists think that geese sleep on the water to evade land predators, though that isn’t necessary in the city. - CAROLINE CATHERMAN
  • A group of Canada Geese wakes up after a night sleeping on icy waters near the iconic Navy Pier on Friday, January 29, 2021. Scientists think that geese sleep on the water to evade land predators, though that isn’t necessary in the city.
  • Caroline Catherman

Chicago has become a better home for Canada Geese than their natural habitat ever was. The world’s largest goose is twice as likely to survive in the city compared to the wild, according to a 2017 study. This is especially true during winter, hunting season in Illinois. As urban areas expand, animals such as Chicago’s tens of thousands of Canada Geese will continue to move to cities or die trying.   v

A Canada Goose steals a bun from a seagull at DuSable Harbor on Friday, January 29, 2021. Canada Geese don’t have trouble competing for food in the city because they are the largest birds here. - CAROLINE CATHERMAN
  • A Canada Goose steals a bun from a seagull at DuSable Harbor on Friday, January 29, 2021. Canada Geese don’t have trouble competing for food in the city because they are the largest birds here.
  • Caroline Catherman
Geese sleep standing up, with their heads tucked into their bodies for warmth in Chicago on Friday, January 29, 2021. Canada Geese aren’t threatened by Chicago’s cold winters—thick down insulation protects them from freezing. - CAROLINE CATHERMAN
  • Geese sleep standing up, with their heads tucked into their bodies for warmth in Chicago on Friday, January 29, 2021. Canada Geese aren’t threatened by Chicago’s cold winters—thick down insulation protects them from freezing.
  • Caroline Catherman
Bird and human footprints sit side by side under a highway overpass near Lake Shore Drive on January 26. - CAROLINE CATHERMAN
  • Bird and human footprints sit side by side under a highway overpass near Lake Shore Drive on January 26.
  • Caroline Catherman
Canada Geese eat grass in a field near Lake Shore Drive on January 26. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources notes that geese choose to eat in open areas so they can watch for predators, though this is yet another adaptation that is unnecessary in the city. - CAROLINE CATHERMAN
  • Canada Geese eat grass in a field near Lake Shore Drive on January 26. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources notes that geese choose to eat in open areas so they can watch for predators, though this is yet another adaptation that is unnecessary in the city.
  • Caroline Catherman
A lone Canada Goose pops its head up after burrowing into the snow for some grass in Maggie Daley Park on February 19. Another goose joined a few minutes later: Canada Geese mate for life, and are rarely alone, according to the Audobon’s Guide to North American Birds. - CAROLINE CATHERMAN
  • A lone Canada Goose pops its head up after burrowing into the snow for some grass in Maggie Daley Park on February 19. Another goose joined a few minutes later: Canada Geese mate for life, and are rarely alone, according to the Audobon’s Guide to North American Birds.
  • Caroline Catherman
This child is one of several people that stopped to look at a Canada Goose on the side of a sidewalk in Maggie Daley Park on February 19. - CAROLINE CATHERMAN
  • This child is one of several people that stopped to look at a Canada Goose on the side of a sidewalk in Maggie Daley Park on February 19.
  • Caroline Catherman

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