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Canada Geese sticking around North Florida and South Georgia

6:24 PM, Jul 24, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On your daily drive or walk around Jacksonville neighborhoods, perhaps you've noticed the geese.

Maybe you remember the geese from last spring.

The thoughts of "awwww, how cute," may have gone through your mind as the goslings followed their mama around the retention pond.

But it's a new year, and maybe you're left scratching your head wondering, "are there more geese here this year?"

It's not just your imagination. 

According to Sarah Schoenberg, bird keeper at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, there are more geese.

"And there will probably be more next year," she says it just makes sense.

Canada Geese are still classified as migratory, and some will still make the annual trip north.

However, Schoenberg says fewer are making that trip. 

"They're discovering they don't need to migrate to get food or have a nice breeding ground," she said.

So fewer are leaving. Which means more are staying, breeding, and having those cute goslings.

And when the babies are near, they can get pretty aggressive.

"They've learned that if they chase and hiss at you, you run," Schoenberg added. 

Essentially, they've learned what scares humans and they're using it to their advantage.

And despite their waning interest in flying away, they're still classified as migratory birds. 

They are protected federally.

So before you take any action, you need to seek guidance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife commission.

First Coast News

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