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canada goose behavior

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Canadagooose, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Canadagooose

    Canadagooose Hatching

    Aug 22, 2013
    I have a question: the junior goosies at the park, that I have seen grow up from fuzzballs, including one junior duck, sometimes stretch their necks out and proceed to rub their chins and chests on me or my phone if i have it out..Its almost like an aggressive hug! Or they have itchy throats. Only the junior birds do this. They also know me well as I go there every day. They like to sit nearby after they are finished eating their grains I bring. I see the siblings do this to each other, too, so its not just to me. I cant find any ref to this behavior on the net.

    Basically, they slowly draw near with their neck out and trembling, then WHAM it happens very fast, its a fast movement when, like a snake, they pounce like, and proceed to rub chins and necks, sometimes up to their chests, then its over. It's startling sometimes, but i've learned their moves and know when to expect it. Now the young female duck started doing it! Its not threatening at all, almost like they are giving you a quick affectionate mauling, lol. It startles the other siblings when one does it to them, usually rubbing their chins along their backs.

    Anyone have any ideas?


  2. The goose girl

    The goose girl Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    This is very fascinating! My pet goose does the same thing. Not to me, but to people she doesn't know well. Usually she does it to their shoes, but if they're squatting, she'll do it to their backs.

    She's imprinted on people and sees people as fellow geese. I've also tried to figure out this behaviour, and as she doesn't interact with other geese, it's really interesting to know that young geese do it to each other.

    My guess is that it's some kind of dominance thing, since only the young geese do it. The grown geese already know their place in the hierarchy. The young geese are trying to establish a "pecking order" with these mock attacks. And since they do it to you as well, they've accepted you as a member of the flock.

    I still have to figure out how a human should respond to these "hugs". Have you observed any other reaction among the siblings than getting startled? Do any of them ever "fight back"?
    1 person likes this.
  3. Speceider

    Speceider Songster

    Apr 4, 2011
    Goosegirl is right, it's their process of developing a pecking order. They are doing it to you because they are familiar with you, they are including you in the pecking order.

  4. Canadagooose

    Canadagooose Hatching

    Aug 22, 2013
    oh wow, thats great! no, the siblings just let out a startled yip and walk off. Most of them let me pet them and run my cheek over their backs, they are so soft! I do feel like part of their family, i call them from across the pond and they all come flying over..., and they always come back after they leave for a handout across the pond. i'll sit there drawing or whatever and they are all next to me preening and doing goose things. I call them the click clack family because the goose and one of the juniors does this odd clicking with their bill, a genetic thing i suppose. Thats one of the juniors in my lap there in the avatar.

    btw they never fight back. I always thought they just had itchy necks what with growing their feathers in and molting lolol. They are very friendly with me, the gander will hiss but never bite, he puts his head in the treat bag with everyone else, and will nip a junior if he's feeling greedy :)
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013

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