Wednesday, June 29, 2011
|Coyote decoy. photo provided by Oakland County Parks|
There is nothing quite as tasty as a crunched, munched, slurped or sucked goose egg omelette in the shell; that is if you are a coyote wise to the ways of Oakland County. The past ten years have seen an explosive growth of geese on golf courses, palatial lawns, mowed areas of parklands and most anywhere grass is cropped close. Geese are highly adaptable grazing animals.
And we give them plenty of grass to graze.
Coyotes too are highly adaptable and these intelligent predators know opportunity when they see it. Or smell it. Adult geese, goslings and goose eggs make for fine entrees.
Geese are not bird brains. They learn what danger is and what danger is not.
They waddle towards the sweet little well-meaning lady tossing bread crumbs.
The flee from four-legged animals, coyotes included.
Oakland County Parks has used that bit of knowledge as a catalyst to place full size coyote decoys at Waterford, Springfield and Groveland Oaks Parks. The decoys are in areas where a reduction in goose numbers is desired. Decoys are moved a few times a day to avoid goose habituation.
The project is on a trail basis.
BOTTOM LINE: I have seen pigeons sitting calmly on top of roof top great horned owl decoys and I smile when I view pictures of crows perched on scarecrows. As ferocious as this decoy may seem to human eyes, I would not be surprised if after awhile geese will graze next to this stealthy yellow-eyed, non-moving predator stuck on a stick.
Geese are wary of motion. Shapes are of little concern if not moving.
Coyotes and geese both learn from experience: That is their dance of evolution.
"Hey kids, this is just a dummy! Lets eat!, the gander may signal.
Is this a good project?
Yes it is, for without science experimentation the answers remain honking in the winds.