Oct 23-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: October: Oct 23-03
Heading South    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Donn de Yampert

Toivo from Toivola on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 09:00 am:

A common sight in the Keweenaw skies this time of year. Donn de Yampert takes a "shot" at them as they fly by! I know the geese fly south this time of year, but I've got my compass out in front of me and it looks to me like they're heading northwest. Maybe time for a new compass?

I still need to get my outside chores done. Seems everytime I go outside to start, the beauty of the Keweenaw distracts me and I find myself staring at the scenery surrounding me. Maybe Charlie will give me a few more days off to get things accomplished. What do ya say, Charlie?

By Yooper in Indiana on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 09:25 am:

we refer to them as flying rats!

By RD, Iowa on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 09:30 am:

Bob, Much of the U.P. (including the Copper Country) is in the Eastern time zone, and is currently on Daylight Savings Time, which switches back this weekend.

By Dina from NJ a vacationer in the UP on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:05 am:

Looks like a Michigan boy went "over the Falls sans barrel." Was he a UPer or a Troll?

Down here in NJ, we distinguish North and South Jersey, and would say, "Well, he was from South Jersey, what do you expect?"

By Deep in Houghton on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:12 am:

Being a former fisheries guy, we used to refer to geese as "carp of the sky". We spent a lot of effort trying control carp and keep them out of prime gamefish waters. There wasn't much we could do with geese in urban, aquatic areas (most of it was posted against hunting). They continue to fertilize our lawn on the Portage with unwanted leavings.

By Toivo from Toivola on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:19 am:

Neighbor just stopped by, said he checked out the Pasty Cam photo today and told me that hummingbirds hitch a ride south on the backs of geese! I think he was pulling Toivo's leg.

By J, Houghton on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:38 am:

I think they are beautiful. However, I would consider seagulls to be "flying rats"!

By Debbie - U.P. on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:39 am:

Toivo: Being familiar with Toivola I bet that neighbor was Hank!!! Never know when that guy is pulling your leg or not!

By Peter, Dbn,Mich on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:12 am:

to Dina from NJ. the man was a Troll from S.E.
Mich should have tried it on the USA side he`d
be fish bait... Would like to go south with
those geese for the winter .:-)

By Embarrassed Troll, MI on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:20 am:

Dina NJ:
To narrow it down, the idiot who went in the falls of Niagra was from Canton, MI which definitely makes him a troll! He gives us Trolls a bad name.

Also, speaking of flying rats, you can add Pigeons to the list!

By Charlie Hopper in Utah on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:26 am:

Edie and I are in Salt Lake City visiting Byran and Becky Howard. Many of our pasty-ordering regulars will remember Becky as our "pasty girl" for a couple of years, handling the phone and Internet orders for over 100,000 pasties. Also Bryan and Becky's wedding appeared on the Cam back in 2000.

So Toivo, you'll have to hang in for a few more days. Hopefully we'll be back in the Copper Country next Tuesday.

Thanks to RD for the reminder about "falling back" with the clocks this weekend. That means we'll have an extra hour on this mini-vacation :o)

By Mary Lou on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:28 am:

...I know they're a problem... but I think they are beautfiul...and I think seagulls are beautiful as well... and I hope I can always live where I can enjoy seeing them....

By Jiggs in California on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:30 am:

Why are Lower Peninsulans called "trolls"?

By Sandy, UP on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:39 am:

Jiggs in California: They're "trolls" because they live below The Bridge.

By Chuck-Yooper in Troll Land on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:42 am:

Where do "Trolls" live? They live under the bridge. Mackinaw Bridge that is.

By mdk, ca on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:44 am:

jiggs, they live 'under' the bridge. (the Mackinac Bridge, which separates the Northern part of Michigan from the Southern). Think back to the fairy tale about the Three Billy Goats who spoke to the troll who lived under the bridge - hence the description.

By Yoosta Be A Yooper East TN. on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 01:15 pm:

A friend of mine asked me when geese fly in the V formation why at times is one line longer then the other? I thought for a moment & said," maybe there is more geese in it."When i see seagulls here in the south i call out, gulla,gulla,gulla,to see if any of them are from up that way.Haven't found one yet.

By Dave - Colorado on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 02:07 pm:

Yoosta Be...
Another possible reason one side of the "V" is sometimes longer than the other could be that the geese with longer necks stick to one side and the short-necked geese stay on the other site... sort of like the star-bellies sneetches described by good ole Dr Seuss...

By Jim of Ann Arbor on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 02:33 pm:

Geese have discovered that they can "draft"
each other just like race cars do to go faster.
With the geese it's not neccesarily faster, but it
does allow everybody behind the lead goose
to fly using less energy. The entire group gets
a little more streamlined.And yes I do believe
that they switch leaders every so often to
share the load.

By Shannon , MI on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 02:42 pm:

"As each bird flaps it's wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on it's own.

When a goose flies out of formation, it suddenly feels that drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

It is harder to do something alone than together.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation, and another goose flies point at the head.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick or wounded and falls out of formation, two other geese will fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their flock." Author: Angeles Arrien

"symmetry of flight formation is not a priority among the birds and they just join up to whichever leg of the formation they happen to be approaching. If this leg has more individuals than the other it doesn't really matter to the bird as long as they are in the formation."
By: Kurt Wollenberg, Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Medicine

By Steve in VA on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 02:59 pm:

This is in reply to Bob Roysdon's question - The UP is about as far north and west as you can get in the continental US and still be in the Eastern time zone. Many is the time we have been at Lac La Belle during the summer and there is still plenty of daylight at 10PM.

When talking to family members in Virginia, Massachusetts or Georgia, we still have light at camp and the sun long since set there.

My daughters caught grief from teachers when they talked about the relatively late sunsets in the Keweenaw and either my wife or I had to go in and confirm what the kids said in school.

By Mary Drew on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 04:21 pm:

Yoosta Be A Yooper East TN.~
Oh my goodness, that's just too funny! Calling out "gulla, gulla, gulla", to see if any of the seagulls are from the U.P. We say that when we see seagulls too! Is that a U.P. word, like pank and chook? :-)

By Matt from Fulton living in Green Bay on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 04:34 pm:

Hey Toivo,
Your neighbor was pulling your leg, hummingbirds don't ride on the backs of geese to get down south.

By Greta, feeling bird-brained in Milwaukee on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 05:48 pm:

Some facts on hummingbird migration.

They may make trips to destinations which are as far as 2000 miles away. The hummingbirds in northern Michigan and Wisconsin are the Ruby-throated. They migrate to Mexico every fall and return every spring. Before it leaves the tiny bird eats a great deal and builds up a large fat supply to convert into energy as it makes the long journey. Many Ruby-throats travel south through the Florida peninsula, then island hop to Mexico. Others follow the Texas coast. Though it has never been proven, many experts believe a large number of Ruby-throats migrate straight across the Gulf of Mexico. In spring the birds probably follow the same route to come back north.
A Ruby-throated Hummingbird flies at about 27 miles per hour if there is no tail wind or head wind. This would mean that long 500 mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico would take about 18 1/2 hours. Don't think anyone really knows how long it might take hummers to get from Wisconsin to their winter home in Mexico. If you want to speculate, calculating miles and miles per hour, take into account that hummingbirds apparently don't normally fly at night (as most other migrating birds do.) Also, they may need to linger at times to feed and build up a fat reserve, so they can continue their journey.

By Missin the UP from NJ on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 05:51 pm:

Another great picture!
So much interesting info on this site, I learned a lot reading the posts. Thanks.
I think there are people who train Australian Shepperd dogs to chase geese off golf courses and airport tarmacs. Seemed like a good way to handle the problem. Cooked goose may be good, but, bullets flying at airports and golf courses is not good. I wonder what golf course these geese are headed to!

By HELEN MI on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 06:31 pm:


By Les, OR on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 06:32 pm:

Gulla, Gulla --- Sounds fishy to me

By Mary Lou on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 07:12 pm:

....i live adjacent to a golf course and a block and a half from Lake Michigan beach....flocks of geese gather on the golf course and make daily trips to the beach...leaving tell tale signs on my black roof, etc...but I enjoy them anyhow.....

By Ms. Katie : on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:01 pm:

Besides all the beautiful photos,historical information,etc., we get a bunch of jokers...gulla, gulla gulla? You guys are a hoot!!!!

By The Dam Guy, Parasite Creek on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:08 pm:

You'd think that the geese and the monarch butterflies would carpool, since they're both going to Mexico anyways...

By Goose Grrl on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 08:38 pm:

Thanks for the goosepost, Shannon. They don't sound like "flying rats" to me.

Just a reminder than when a species becomes a so- called "nuisance species," it's always human-caused. Goose numbers have gotten out of control because we've created such excellent goose habitat.

By Ken from da UP, on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 09:24 pm:

Speaking of seagulls, when is a seagull not a seagull?
When it's over the bay, then it's a bay-gull. Y'know, a bagel? :>) Oh well, I tried.

By Catherine--Holland MI on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:18 pm:

I think all of the US except AZ and parts of IN are on Daylight Savings Time.

By L.W., CA on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:36 pm:

Great shot Donn!! Shannon, that was very interesting - about the geese and their flying formation. Thank you.

By Gary, CO on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 11:20 pm:

My father used to yell out "kalla, kalla, kalla" to the seagulls while we were fishing if we had a spare fish to offer. I believe "kalla" means fish in Finn. The gulls seemed to understand Finnish. Am I correct about the meaning and spelling of kalla, any of you Finns out there?

By Les H, Forest Grove, OR on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 12:00 am:

Wrong spelling "gulla" but kala is fish in Finnish

By Mary Lou on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 06:52 am:

Here in Escanaba the Geese seemed to stay all winter.....maybe the Copper Country geese are tired of going all the way to Mexico......just make the trip to the southern "Yoop"....where the winters are usually very mild...smart geese!!....They are a problem and I believe Marquette and Escanaba tried relocating them....

By troll in eagle harbor on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 07:06 am:

HEY.MARY LOU...don't forget that you live in the bananna belt.heh heh

By WALTER P on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 06:24 pm:


By danbury; germany on Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 01:22 pm:

Ouch - took me a while till I remembered the meaning of the word bagel, but Ken scored a hit.
By the way, with the supposed current climate change, so do the migration patterns of birds, some species giving up on it completely.

By Margaret T; Minnesota on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 06:25 pm:

why do geese honk when they fly??????

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