I was lucky enough to find a Pink footed Goose in Warinanco Park, Elizabeth on Feb and again, yesterday. The sighting marked the first occurrence of this species in Union County. An incident took place yesterday that I would like to chat about briefly. It might serve as a lesson for many of us.
While some birders were looking for the goose, a USDA truck, operated by a young female staffer, moved a large flock of geese on their way. The Pink footed Goose flushed with the flock for parts unknown. USDA has an agreement with Union County to “manage” geese in Union County Parks.
After the USDA staffer completed her assignment, she parked her truck and was soon confronted by an angry birder. This birder made her feel quite uncomfortable, by reason of language used and hostile expression. The staffer told her supervisor who got a hold of a Union County Environmental representative who reached out to me.
Birding can be a an emotional business. The threats to our feathered friends are more than I can bear sometimes. There are any number of reasons to get upset during the course of a day. But loosing your cool isn’t cool. See something you don’t like? Don’t take it out on an employee trying to complete an assignment. Take it up the ladder and complain calmly and forcefully.
On a nice note, the Pink footed Goose returned to Warinanco this morning and USDA has put “goose management” at the park on hold for a while.
Let’s be calm out there and thanks for reading. Good birding.