Moose Challenges Nesting Geese, Gets Whipped

A moose in Rocky Mountain National Park got a little to close to a nesting pair of Canada geese last week. Kyle Wintersteen takes a look at how the confrontation played out.

I almost feel bad for the moose photographed by The Denver Post in Rocky Mountain National Park. It wandered, perhaps curiously, toward a nesting pair of Canada geese—completely unaware of the rage that dwells within spring-time honkers.

This photo says it all. Despite an enormous size advantage, the poor moose really takes a whipping. The geese even add insult to injury, wing-batting the moose as it attempts to scamper off like a dog with its tail between its legs.

Geese just seem to go insane this time of year as they defend nests, goslings and the perimeter of their turf.

It's so unlike nesting ducks, in which only the hen assumes parental responsibilities and—if disturbed—is content to fly away and wait out the threat. Geese, on the other hand, watch the nest in pairs. The goose sits on the nest while the gander keeps a watchful eye for danger. If a threat is perceived, watch out, they're coming for you whether you're an unlucky pedestrian or a Colorado moose.

My advice: Either give nesting geese a wide berth or become very good at running with your hands on your buttocks.

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