Curious Louisville

Great minds think alike, and sometimes that means WFPL listeners and reporters are wondering about the same things.

Paul Downs recently submitted a question to our Curious Louisville project, where we collect questions from the community, and make radio stories with the answers. “Why do we now have so many geese in Louisville?” Paul asked. “I don’t remember seeing them in such huge numbers in the past.”

WFPL’s Ashlie Stevens noticed the same thing, Paul! She spoke with Rosemary Bauman from the Louisville Nature Center to find out if there are, in fact, more geese now, and why. The short answer is below, her whole story is here, and the audio version is in the player above.

For many urban and suburban dwellers, the fact that the local goose population is growing, probably doesn’t come as a surprise. You can find flocks of them in neighborhoods, office parks, baseball fields — and maybe even your own backyard.

“To tell the truth, the main factor is we have provided an abundance of habitat for Canada geese,” says Rosemary Bauman, the forest restoration coordinator at Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve and a nature educator.

“[This is] through our efforts to modify the landscape agriculturally, or just simply creating large patches of grassy areas because geese actually graze on the grass,” she says.

Bauman explains that in most urban and suburban areas, there is ample built green space and oftentimes bodies of water — some natural, some not.

This provides a place for the geese to nest and graze that is often free from predators like wolves, coyotes and human hunters.

“And they have just responded as any population would with becoming more and more abundant,” Bauman says.

Thanks for your question, Paul! And please keep in touch — we obviously have a lot in common!

We’d love to answer a question from you, too! Ask it at curiouslouisville.org.

Laura produces Curious Louisville, Strange Fruit, and other audio news stories for WFPL.