I CARE (about goslings)

  • By Neema Connor

    Monday, April 30, 2018
    "Mother" goose & her sentinel spouse

    It was very unusual to see a goose nesting site in a high (foot) traffic area with no camouflage, but this is what two Canada geese decided to do just outside my office window in the Hytche Athletic Center. 

    I had the unique opportunity to watch the pair protect their eggs from unsuspecting students, faculty and staff who had no idea they were nesting. 

    I suspect the mother goose built the nest the week of Spring Break (March 19-23), when there was little to no activity on campus. 

    Since there was no formal notification sent out drawing the campus community's attention to the nest, anyone who came too close was warned or attacked by the father goose. 

    To protect the geese, the nest and the campus community, I decided to put up yard signs to warn pedestrians of the nesting site. 

    (My husband) Marcellus quickly realized the signs were not going to be enough, so he asked UMES Public Safety if he could borrow A-frame barricades. He also arranged for yard signs boards donated by Print & Ship and used yellow “caution tape” to block off the area. 

    This appeared to help initially, but we couldn't predict where father goose would go. At times, he went on the opposite side of the barricades to admire his mate, and anyone who came too close or what he believed was too close was warned with loud honking or chased. 

    In the end, we realized the situation was stressful for the geese and pedestrians, so the decision was made - with the input from the state Natural Resources department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to relocate the nest with the hope the adult geese would not abandon the nest and their four eggs. 

    During the relocation, I'm happy to report mother and father goose did follow groundskeepers to the new location and we are now seeing several goslings in area. 


    * - I CARE is the acronym the university's community of scholars follows as guideposts for professional and personal conduct: Integrity Commitment Accountability Respect Excellence.

    The writer is UMES' Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance