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Oct. 28, 2021 | Thursday
Local News
The loneliness of the lost-soul gander?
This lone goose has been camped out at Ryerson Park in Chautauqua for a few weeks. (Kevin MacLean/Niagara Now)

What’s the story with the lone Canada goose that has been camped out at Ryerson Park in NOTL for the past few weeks?

The goose, which marches along the top of the embankment periodically, spends most of his day staring out at the water. Is he lost, heart-broken or a young gander looking for love?

Canada geese mate for life, so there are a few possible explanations, says Nathan Clements, a wildlife biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Federation in Ottawa.

The goose might be a young male, under two years old, who is just patiently searching for his first mate. “Or he could be an older male who has lost his mate. He could be staking his territory and waiting for another mate to come along,” Clements said in an interview. 

One final possibilty is the gander might be guarding a nearby nest. However, geese are often extremely aggressive toward humans when they are protecting a nest, but this guy is docile and friendly.

“If the female shows up with a brood over the course of the next couple weeks, you’ll have a better understanding of why he’s been standing guard,” Clements said.

All that said, even after viewing photos, it’s difficult to say whether the goose is male or female, he acknowledged. Without handling the bird up close, determining the gender is “guess work, really.”