Two Canada Geese in the midst of a mating dance.

Beware appearances. The Gander isn’t scolding the Goose, but reaffirming his passion for her.

This photo captures a moment in a mating dance, during which Gerhardt and Gertrude both wave their heads and twist their necks quite a bit.

Gerhardt (at least I think he’s the more vocal one) accompanies these movements with what I can only imagine to be a love aria, preparatory to love nips, foreplay and actual mating.

Did you know, by the way, that Canada Geese not only “mate for life,” but also get divorced and have affairs? I can find no concensus about their actual divorce rate—one authority says it’s in the low single digits and a model for us humans to emulate, while another insists they play the field for the first four years of life, and that the promiscuity of some honkers would do Hollywood stars proud.

I also skimmed papers submitted to a 1968 symposium on Canada Goose management, during which one participant observed that what we don’t know about these birds could fill volumes. It seems to me this may still be true.

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