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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Why Are Geese Flying the Same Route Every Day?  (Read 237 times)

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  • Manatee
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  • Location: Fremont, CA
  • Date Registered: Feb 2007
  • Posts: 16478
November 16, 2017

Question: I live near Antioch, in Brentwood. In the past couple of weeks, apparently the geese have changed their flight pattern, because suddenly, every single day, they fly over a certain portion of my back patio leaving quite a mess. Do you think this will continue for the rest of my life (I’m 68) or do you think they will eventually change their flight pattern again? I thought that the birds I see today would be 200 miles away tomorrow, so I’m not sure why they continue to fly right across the same area now and why it happened so suddenly. I have lived here over a year, and it only started occurring a couple of weeks ago. I realize there is nothing that can be done about it, but I need to know if I should move – or if they will. (Karen)

Answer: According to Dan Skalos, a wildlife biologist in CDFW’s waterfowl program, the geese you are seeing are likely local resident Canada geese. Not much is known about their migratory patterns (which vary from area to area) but they are likely short-distance migrants or non-migratory, much different than their arctic nesting relatives. Without investigating your situation, we can only speculate why these geese are flying over your house, but it seems likely that you are between a roost location and a food resource. Roost and forage locations change throughout the year so at some point the geese will stop flying over your house.

Depending on what resources these particular geese are using, this may be a temporary — but annual — event. Often this time of year resident geese are feeding on post-harvest agricultural fields such as wheat or corn. If the geese are using agricultural fields, the normal annual rotation of these crops should keep this from happening every year.


  • I swear it was this big!
  • Sea Lion
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It is awesome how predictable they are. Until you try to hunt them. Then for unknown reasons....THAT DAY, they fly the other way!
Live your life, the way you want to be remembered. Don't have any regrets, we only get this one dance to make it count. Start at your eulogy, and work backwards.


  • Salmon
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  • Date Registered: Nov 2014
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It is awesome how predictable they are. Until you try to hunt them. Then for unknown reasons....THAT DAY, they fly the other way!
Truer words never typed!
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