Cheryl Santa Maria
Thursday, January 11, 2018, 16:49 - Canada Geese are embracing city life, according to a new study.
A team of researchers set out to determine why there are so many Canada geese in Chicago in the winter.
At first, they thought they were going to the city for food -- but it turns out they're flocking there because there are no hunters.
According to the study, up to 85 per cent of Canada geese have been spent their winters in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan area, and none of them are visiting rural ponds or open fields, which are prime hunting grounds.
As winter months grow colder and snow covers the ground, geese are looking to water treatment facilities and water spaces inside shipping canals instead of the natural spaces they used to favour.
Researchers are now looking at ways to manage the geese, because they can pose a risk to the general population.
"Dense concentrations of geese in urban areas can pose threats to humans, including contamination of water sources, aggressive behavior toward humans, disease transmission, and strikes with aircraft," University of Illinois ornithologist Mike Ward, who participated in the study, says in a statement.
"Geese are the largest bird commonly struck by aircraft in North America and were responsible for 1,403 recorded bird strikes to civil aircraft from 1990 to 2012."
The complete study can be found in The Condor: Ornithological Applications.
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