A video from Richmond dubbed a ‘geese tsunami’ went viral today on YouTube and American television.
The video spread across social media, made the Weather Channel and then hit the front page of cnn.com after the morning show aired the video during its ‘Must See Now’ segment. Then the video hit westcoastwood.org. Simply amazing.
The video was taken by YouTube poster Maikel Parets at Dixon Elementary school on Nov.26.
“I was just taking a picture of all these geese and the gaggle. I never thought they would all get up and leave. I’m like ‘oh my God,’ I’m hoping I don’t get pooped on,” he told me.
The snow geese are migrating from Alaska and the Vancouver suburb is home to farmland and fields that the geese use to feed and rest as they make their way through the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south path for migratory birds.
Being a major part of the Fraser Valley, Richmond has some of the best soil in the region but development has encroached on the bird’s natural home away from home over the last 60 years, hence the close encounters.
The geese number upwards of 100,000 and wreak havoc on school fields by chewing up the grass.
Parets, who runs a social media firm, mapasocial.ca, says Dixon’s field is completely ruined for the winter and there’s goose poop everywhere. He escaped any droppings but one person near the end of the video may have been targeted.
The ‘problem’ gets so bad that the City of Richmond needs to manage the geese by running a volunteer chaser dog program. Officials hope to move the birds toward less populated fields in the Fraser Valley or the nearby marshlands of the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary across the Fraser River. The city also permits goose hunting on farmland with the permission of landowners however the effects are minimal.
“We’ve probably got two or three times as many snow geese as we should, because we don’t have enough natural habitat to feed them,” Councillor Harold Steves said to CTV News last year when a cull was considered.
Another obvious problem is getting pooped on, something that’s already happened to me twice this season!
Here’s another video from the bird sanctuary.