There might not be a more terrifying, in-the-moment experience than taking a leisurely walk along a lake and getting ambushed by angry, honking geese.
Geese have a pretty well-earned reputation as horrible monsters. An independent video game studio even released a game where you play as a goose whose only motivation is being a jerk to an entire town. In the context of a game, this is funny and cute, but geese can be truly terrifying.
The most important point to realize is geese are extremely territorial. No matter what, if you walk into their home, they are going to watch you. If you get too close to them, they will begin honking angrily.
Like most animals, geese tending babies are much more aggressive than geese just minding their nest. Depending on the subset of geese, they have different breeding seasons. Canadian Geese, for example, breed between February and April. If you are walking near water during the breeding season, take extra care.
If you get the attention of a feisty goose, make sure to keep facing it. Don’t turn your back on the bird and back away slowly. Be sure to start backing off before it decides you’re a real threat and begins chasing you. Like excitable dogs, running away from a goose might just make it want to chase you more. Stay calm and back away slowly.
No matter what you do, do not engage in an openly hostile way. If you are unfortunate enough to become the object of a goose attack, seek medical attention. It probably isn’t serious, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
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