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Re: Harmonious depredations and The Geese of Goddard Space Flight Center

On Wed, 7 Jun 2000, Ray Stanford wrote:

> rush-hour traffic whizzed by on both sides.  Each day my wife and I wondered
> how the parents ever got those gosslings into the median safely, of how they
> safely got back to wherever their nesting area was, later in the day.  But,

The median is well protected from predators.  Predator access is limited
by traffic.  And you don't know where the nest is: I believe I said
visible nests.

>     What is more, John, if you really want to see how wrong you are on this,
> acquire a visitor's pass into NASA's  Goddard Space Flight Center and drive
> or stroll around the grounds.

I have been to Goddard.  You have to go to an office, show your papers,
and drive past armed guards.  Presumably, predators have similar
restrictions inasmuch as a very secure fence surrounds the property.  All
this evidence means is that Canada geese are very astute about knowing
where predator access is limited.  How do they know?  We've read about
pigeon "scouts" looking at an area before the flock nests...what cues are
they looking for?  More areas for research.