A pair of Canada geese are making themselves at home at a Strathcona County transit station.
The geese first showed up about two weeks ago, waddling around and turning customers’ heads at the Bethel bus terminal.
Sometime in the past week or so, the goose couple decided to make a nest in a planter on the west side of the transit platform.
Sheryl Mayko, communications and marketing specialist for Strathcona County Transit, said that’s when the ruckus started. The geese are very protective of their three unhatched goslings.
“People come near them and they start to hiss and squawk. And dad's kind of gotten into a place where if he sees anybody get too close to mom, he'll swoop down and hiss at people.”
Although this is the first time any Canada geese have set up housekeeping on a local transit platform, the birds have nested in other unexpected places in Sherwood Park, including the RCMP station and the transit garage.
The Bethel terminal, Strathcona County’s main transit terminal, is a busy place. More than 5000 people ride the county’s buses every day, with most of them on routes that pass through the terminal. So far, no one has had a serious altercation with the male goose, although transit users are showing a lot of interest in the nesting birds.
“People are watching the geese quite intently,” Mayko said. “But we are asking people to be wary. Do not interfere with the geese. Do be cognizant of them. Watch for them. Don't get too close. And there's lots of room for them to avoid getting close to them. So we want people to be aware that the geese are there and be careful.”
Mayko, who has unofficially named the birds Gertrude and Gordon, said the county will be making a birth announcement when the time comes. For now, pylons have been set up around the planter to give the birds some space.
Strathcona County has a goose-management program in place to aid in the control and health of the goose population. The Canada Goose is protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act.