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Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen – Herding… Geese?

One of my favorite moments in the past few weeks was going Canada goose banding with the wildlife guys. We’re all used to seeing birds with bands on their legs, but actually seeing it done is an absolute rodeo! It was like herding cattle… except with geese and boats on the water. I couldn’t help but laugh.

An escapee from the roundup.

Goose banding is done during a certain time period of the year, when the geese lose their flight feathers during molting. Even without their wing feathers, they can still be highly unpredictable. Rounding up geese successfully involves a lot of hustling, communication and teamwork. Emotions can often run high. And if you screw up, you sometimes get yelled at by you know who (inside joke).


Needless to say, the geese did not like it. Not one bit. It was like judgement day.

At the end of the day, I even jumped in to do one– but no more than that, because I didn’t want anymore goose poop than was necessary on me.

Go free, little bird! Go free! I grabbed a juvenile female, so she wasn’t too fussy. But she was sure happy to get away from me.

Despite all the scratches, scrapes and feces, one cannot deny that the goslings are just so darn cute.

About Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

NEBRASKAland Associate Editor Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam, and moved to the United States with her parents in 1992. She graduated from Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, California, in 2008 and completed her bachelor’s degree at UCLA in 2012. Wheatley was editor-in-chief for her high school newspaper and continued to write in college, freelancing for various publications, the Tiger Woods Foundation and writing for her blog FoodForHunters.com. After graduating college, she moved to Nebraska in early 2013 to join the Commission as Regional Editor at NEBRASKAland Magazine. She then became associate editor in 2015. Wheatley enjoys hiking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and wild game cooking.

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