WINNIPEG - Following a massive spring storm that dumped as much as 25 cm of snow across the province, Manitobans are seeing Canada geese appearing a little confused as they emerge from icy blankets, but experts point out the birds are doing just fine.
The Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre says they’ve received reports of geese buried in snow, and note that the birds are taking advantage of its insulating properties to protect their eggs from the cold air, a natural part of their nesting behaviour.
The more than 20-year-old non-profit organization explains, like many other animals such as grouse, geese like to burrow into snow over the night to keep warm. The PWRC is asking residents to avoid feeding or uncovering the animals, as that could disturb the families and cause a goose to abandon her eggs.
The fluffy down feathers on Canada geese help regulate their core temperature, and their feet are especially hardy. Canada goose feet don’t freeze or stick to ice due to their “countercurrent” blood circulation system, which exchanges cold blood and warm blood throughout their body, and they’re also able to tuck them safely under their bodies to keep them safe from frost bite.