Monday, February 27, 2006

Fowl Ball

There are so many Canadian geese on the playing fields across the street from my home I feel like I'm in a remake of The Birds.

When I left to go to work this morning there had to be at least 300 fowl in the outfield of the baseball diamond.

Then of course, some of these geese and their descendants have been living on the south side longer than I have.

One of the great things about where I live is it’s proximity to Lake Michigan and the inlets and lagoons abutting the Museum of Science and Industry.

Wetlands=water fowl. And as luck would have it, water fowl equal coyotes.

Because of the influx of coyotes from the Cook County forest preserves, the geese, rat and general small animal population has been held down the past few years.

While the coyotes haven’t approached any full grown humans yet, they will take small pets (how do the stray cats thrive around the ‘hood?) and young children.

Despite that fact, I wouldn’t want to be boozed up walking home from the bus stop while being trailed by a pack of those bad boys.

So my web footed, loud honking friends have figured out an almost foolproof way to graze and nest safely during their molting season; they simply make their homes within the confines of a gated area.

If I were a goose, the large gated playing and practicing fields of the school across the street must look like heaven.

The fence line is kept up so it’s highly unlikely that there are any holes where a coyote could sneak onto the fields. The school also went ahead and completed the fence line on the western edge of their property parallel to the train tracks so that everything is gated.

As a result it’s geese as far as the eye can see for two blocks.

In a way it’s kind of intimidating, so many of one type of species suspiciously eying you as you walk down the street.

I had the privilege to see a Canadian goose up close and personal as he (or she) decided to camp out on my front patio table one Saturday morning.

While he (or she) was huge and seemed to very much enjoy the confines of my patio, since I wasn’t getting any rent money, he (or she) had to “get to stepping.”

My winged neighbors should be considered Chicago’s latest immigrant group---after all they are Canadian.

Perhaps I should alert the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department.

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