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Anyone who has spent more than 30 minutes in Naperville is already all-too familiar with the Canadian goose.  They’re spread out over every grassy surface.  They form tight perimeters around every pond.  They stop traffic while idly crossing in long, straight lines.  And – oh, please no – sometimes they fly directly over your parked (and freshly washed) car.  Where did they come from?  Why haven’t they flown south?  And why oh why did they pick Naperville?

Well, some of us might actually like our feathered neighbors.  It’s possible.  We don’t judge.

Either way, all we can do here at the Library is learn about them!  (Hey, maybe we’ll learn to love them).  A brief exploration through our online resources can get us to appreciate Naperville’s avian residents a little more:

  • Science Online reminds us that geese are related to swans, that they mate for life, and that their feathers stuff our pillows and down blankets;
  • The Naperville Sun amuses us with the sheer number of local goose-related articles, and reminds us that goslings are as adorable as all babies;
  • Today’s Science teaches us that you can get any goose to fly south if you would only lead the flock in your airplane (Remember Fly Away Home?).

If none of this has charmed you yet, take a look on the shelves at Flights of Fancy by Peter Tate to consider the goose in folklore, or, better yet, The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds by John K. Terres.  Nobody admired the bird world more than Audubon.  Through his eyes, the goose is almost elegant.  (I said almost).

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