Some students and staff at St. Charles Community College are learning a lesson about nesting geese. If you’ve ever encountered them, you know, they can be pretty territorial — even aggressive — if you get too close.
The grounds department said it welcomes the geese, but it’s all about population control. If you don’t tend to the flightless birds, the institution could wind up with a lake full of geese and a host of other issues.
"It brings life to campus," said Jacob Decker, a student at SCCC.
SCCC has three pairs of resident geese, not to mention handfuls of others, that roam the grounds and take a dip in the ponds.
"They're everywhere. You see them flying overhead and at the pond," said Decker.
But, the college grounds department said it’s important to curb the population because geese tend to leave droppings around campus, meddle with the turf, and can exhibit aggressive behavior.
“We will keep track of our mated pairs and look to see where they're nesting," said the Grounds Supervisor, Amanda Templer.
As the geese lay their eggs, staff will come in after a day, but no more than 3 days and replace their eggs with wooden ones. They will dispose of the real eggs. Then, let the geese incubate for 25 or so days, and then remove the wooden eggs and the nest altogether.
"I just wanted people to understand that when they looked out their window and saw us chasing geese or taking eggs, that we weren’t doing it out of spite," Templer said.
In an email to the campus community, the Grounds Department also wanted people to know that when they’re nesting, these birds can be mean.
"Once they nested behind our administration building, they were chasing a lot of students, staff and faculty so we had to kind of shoe them off of their nest," said Templer.
Resident couple Lympy and Gympt have recently relocated to the roof of the Fine Arts Building. Every now and then, you can spot them holding court at the edge of the building.
"I've seen a lot of snapchats and stuff, people have actually been sending videos and getting a little bit more personal,” said Stesha Renna, also a student at SCCC.
"I’ve had plenty of experiences with geese where I'll try to chase them and they'll start hissing and it's kind of terrifying," Decker explained.
The grounds crew said it wants to ensure campus safety and preserve the aesthetics and beauty of the area. One request, they ask, that you do not feed the geese.