Canada goose displaying odd behavior


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
Charlotte, NC Area
There's a large flock of migrating canada geese on our pond right now. One of them is separate from the others and looks/acts strange. It's very still and quiet, just stands and watches us move around nearby. When we approach too close, it moves away, very slowly. It's neck feathers are fluffed up a bit, so it doesn't have the same sleek appearance of most wild Canada geese. The colors are exactly like the other canada geese--if they weren't I would guess it was a cross with a domestic goose, because its shape is so different. But I think the stockiness I'm seeing is due to the feathers being in strange condition, and the tucked-in way it's carrying its head.

Anyway--there's nothing I can do directly, I know. For one thing, it would be illegal for me to handle it. For another, I don't have space. Finally, I'm not really inclined to invest a lot in it. But I do want to know if it's likely to be carrying anything that might be contagious to me two geese or my yard full of ducks. And also whether I should leave it alone and hope it recovers, or if I should call someone to come remove it. Or something else...

If you think it's 'catchable' I would call wildlife rescue. They can observe and do tests for parasites and diseases. That'll give you a better idea whether your geese could bee exposed.
It definitely sounds like it's a sick goose. If the other geese in the flock seem well, it's probably not contagious. Geese are not very prone to catching parasites and diseases.

Poor little goosie. It's always hard to watch sick animals. Maybe wildlife rescue can catch it and put it down so it won't suffer unnecessarily. On the other hand, it may make some predator very happy. Nature is cruel.
Our wildlife rescue is real good about patching things up and letting them go in the area they were found. The only thing I had them come out for was a hawk with a broken shoulder but I've taken in several birds that were either babies or obviously sick and they just make you write where you found it and that's where they release it if they can rehab it. I usually make a donation but they don't ask for it.
Poor thing. I also wonder if it was a domestic escapee or dumpee. We have a few former pet Canadian geese at our lakes. We don't usually get the wild ones. I agree with the advice in taking him to a rescue.
Also it could possibly be old too maybe it's last year with the flock, We had one come down below our house on the river by itself we thought it probably left the flock to die It was towards the end of summer

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