Outdoors blog: Eldergeese captured near Wright
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
'Geriatric' Canada geese recaptured
Wildife biologists with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources captured two relatively old Canada geese during a banding operation July 1 on Tamarack Lake south of Wright. The geese, both females, originally had been neck-collared with band numbers in 1998 and 1999, said Rich Staffon, DNR area wildlife manager at Cloquet.
“So, they were 11 and 12 years old,” Staffon said. “They’re definitely geriatric geese.”
Canada geese can live to be 15 or 20 in the wild, Staffon said, but it’s uncommon. These geese were originally captured as juveniles in the Twin Cities metro area and released on the Tamarack River two miles east of Wright. The transplanting was part of an effort by a now disbanded group called Geese Unlimited to reduce goose populations in the Twin Cities by relocating the birds to northern Minnesota.
Most of those relocated geese had disappeared three to five years after they were released, Staffon said. The DNR has been capturing and banding geese during their summer molting period, when they’re flightless, since 2002.
“This is the first time I recall getting any neck-collared geese,” Staffon said.
Neck collars are used in banding because the numbers are larger and can be read by someone using binoculars.
It’s likely these geese have had broods through much of their lives, Staffon said. They were captured with many juvenile geese this summer, and it’s likely some of those young were part of their broods.
Anyone seeing a neck-collared goose or coming across a leg-banded goose can call a migratory bird lab in Maryland at (800) 327-2263 to report the band and receive information about where and when it was banded.