Each February, sometimes as early as late January, two geese fly into our wetlands. It’s the same pair each year. This year, it happened to be the last week of January when they showed up.
How do I know they’re the same geese. I don’t know with absolute certainty. But, the female of the two has a gray or whitish eye-ring. Most Canada geese do not have an eye-ring (it’s black, and since the feathers surrounding the eye are black you can’t see a contrasting ring around the eye).
There’s a possibility that each year at this time a different pair of geese visits us, one of them, the female, having a gray eye-ring. It’s more likely, though, that it’s the same pair.
The birds stake out the wetland for themselves to rest, forage and potentially nest. Each year there are challengers to our pair. One or two other couples who are also looking for a quiet spot to feed and raise young may also drop in. Our pair do not tolerate intrusion.
Although they may temporarily coexist with new arrivals, the ultimate goal is to displace any newcomers. It’s always a noisy affair and often quite physical with much honking, flapping, chasing and pecking of the unwanted guests.
In the end, our pair always wins out.