Group members: Tyler, Chris, Cameron
Project topic: Our project questions is what type of environment geese like to live in, and what type of behaviors geese have.
Background: For this project we observed a large number of Canada geese along the edge of North Pond in the Lincoln Park area. We observed that the Canada Goose is usually located on the west side of North Pond but can also be found in other areas of the pond. Canada geese mostly eat plants and grasses and sometimes insects and small fish.
We observed that Canada geese do not like to be approached by humans or animals that are bigger than it such as dogs. During our research journey we found out geese mostly like to live around grassy,areas with ponds, shady/sunny areas. Being around the geese everyday we noticed that they started to not be afraid of humans anymore because people kept feeding them and they started depending on humans for food.
Materials: The materials you will need for this project are a notebook, pen, thermometer, binoculars, a tablet with a GPS, and a ethogram which is a table used for recording animal behaviors over short amount of time.
Methods: The methods we used in this project are observing the geese for amount of time, feeding them, changing behaviors with them to test how does geese act towards humans. We fed the geese Mulberries from the trees by the pond but the people that came by had given them chips, granola bars, and candy. In edition to observing our own interaction with geese, we also observed other people interaction with the geese.
Preliminary Findings: The preliminary findings we used are ethograms which is a table used to record animal behaviors. When we were outside we found out that geese like to rest and feed most of their day. We found that out by going outside and observing their behavior and recording it. The geese don’t like humans that much except if you feed them. When humans walk towards the geese or walk by them they walk a different way or if they walk in one direction and its towards humans they change their direction. During one of our days of observation the geese swarmed us in an unusual fashion and it was extremely unordinary and they had no regard for our safety. Geese are unusual creatures. At one moment geese will be doing one activity as a flock and all of a sudden a stimulus will startle them and they will scatter and fly into the water.
Before we started our project we thought we were going to interact with the geese. Then we were forced to switch our methods of observation. Geese are usually in flocks of 3 or more but we have seen geese in flocks of 60-100+. Geese can run really fast.
New questions, future research, and possible changes to procedure: Our new question will be why do geese act different towards humans, Our future research will be testing the geese habits. We have no changes to our procedure. Another research project could be human and geese interaction. Some of the observations could be feeding and attempting to touch the geese. Part of this future research could include geese imprinting on humans and how raising geese could help understand our interactions with geese. Because we live in an urban environment geese and humans interact on a daily bases. Part of this future research could inform us how geese learn to interact with humans and why and how we can regulate human interactions with geese. This will allow us to learn how regulations can be set to prevent dependency on human interaction. If the geese become dependent on humans they would lose their animal instinct on how to survive.