I've run into some protective geese before, but the tough old bird pictured at right was immovable. The nest location is across the river from mile marker 0.6 on the bike path, which is approximately at the terminus of McGuire Court in Ridgewood. Not even gentle yet forceful nudging by two determined umbrellamen could persuade her to leave. She simply folded in her wings and burrowed down low on the nest. After several attempts, we grudgingly accepted defeat and headed for the second nest about a mile downstream, behind Paramus Catholic.
I noticed this second nest, pictured at left, earlier in the day while jogging down the bike path. It looked accessible enough from across the river, but when we arrived we found that the nest was very well protected by an escarpment and thorn bushes all around, with little or no room to maneuver. I plan to go back over the weekend with some pruning shears! I just hope after all that, she is more easily coaxed off her nest than the first one.
After being denied for the second time, our staff photographer David Grant captured me, against my will, slinking back to my car—a portrait of a man defeated. (Note: the gaping tear in my shorts leg was not inflicted by the geese!) As I pondered our failed attempts, my once unquestioned skills and abilities suddenly in doubt, I tried to think of a way to get that first goose off her nest. Then it hit me: visit her again with the superior firepower of a border collie. And so with my pride restored, having so clearly outsmarted a creature with a brain the size of chick pea, I vowed to return.
So if any of you border collie owners would like to help persuade that goose off her nest, please contact me. To get to the nest, it's a half-mile walk through the woods each way.
UPDATE: Jane has also reported an immovable goose, in Midland Park. So we could use some help from a border collie there as well.