belligerent geese

The Canada Geese are particularly noisy right now, as they establish mated partners and set up their breeding sites.  A few intense squabbles broke out as I watched the mated pairs interact on the bass ponds at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

The "before" photo -- i.e., prior to the interaction that comes next.  The larger male (I think) in the back of this twosome was on high alert as another pair of geese flew into the pond.

The “before” photo — i.e., prior to the interaction that comes next. The larger male (I think) in the back of this twosome was on high alert as another pair of geese flew into the pond.

canada geese -

Male honking to declare this pond his. The raised mud pile the geese are standing on is actually surrounded by water. Perhaps it was a muskrat house at one point. But this might be the nest site they’ve chosen, and now they have to defend their territory.

canada geese -

You can tell the male (?) is getting increasingly belligerent. This is his territory; can’t the other birds tell?

canada geese -

The resident* (I assume) pair flew over to the pond to drive the interlopers away, honking continuously.  Note the threat posture with the out-stretched neck.

canada geese -

Hmmm… the interlopers don’t seem to be paying attention, so the geese swim right up to them and honk loudly in their ears.  Female (?) is making just a half-hearted threatening neck stretch here.

canada geese -

Now on the attack, but the “honk-threat-lunge” only scares off one bird of the other pair and he (?) only moves a few feet.

canada geese -

Final escalation — flying right at the presumed male of the other pair, and yes, he finally got the message and flew off. Notice the presumed two females sitting quietly on the sidelines while this male-male battle takes place. Typical….

canada geese -

Well, the other geese sitting around enjoying a quiet morning, got fed up with this belligerent behavior and took off.

Note:  this post is not a comment on the behavior of any political candidates.

4 thoughts on “belligerent geese

  1. What a brilliant photos! Great composition, and nice sharpness. What lens did you use? I am looking into lenses for my Nikon camera for wild life photography like this. The Nikon 80-400 is one of the contenders (it has to be “affordable “).

    Great work!

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Best regards,

    • Thanks for your nice comments, Tieme. These photos were shot with a Canon 100-400 L lens (that’s their high quality optics zoom lens), which I needed because the birds were across the large pond from me. So most of the photos were cropped quite a lot, except for the first one. Good lenses definitely make a difference in the quality of the image you get, but I find that even the images shot with this high quality lens can be dramatically improved with editing in Lightroom or some other photo editing software. All of these shots were edited for greater clarity, improved exposure, color temperature, etc.

      • Thank you for your reply Sue! A good quality lens does matter, and I agree on the lost processing. Makes a great difference. Wow, 400mm and cropped, what a range 🙂

        So basic post processing in your photos 😉

        Have a great Monday!

        Kind regards,

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