The man who had observed these first few geese would become a good friend, his name Scott. Over the next few years, during the winter Scott would get out and make various rounds to record as many red bands as he could find of the Wascana geese.
In January 2014, I decided I had to go for a trip to Pierre, to finally meet Scott and see our geese on their wintering grounds. So in February, 2014, Bob Ewart and I traveled down to Pierre. It was really neat to see the geese we were so familiar with in Wascana Park in such a different but similar place.
What is difference in Pierre versus Regina, is the sheer number of geese. Scott works for the South Dakota State Wildlife Branch. He is responsible for doing many of the game surveys. A few weeks before Bob and I arrived he did an aerial survey on the geese in and around Pierre and counted 100,000 Canada Geese! Earlier that winter, while other geese were still moving through they counted 300,000! Compare that to the current nesting population in Wascana park in 2014, around 430 nesting pair, or about 860 adult bird....
The birds spend a lot of their time at Capitol Lake, which is fed by a man made spring. It stays open during the winter and many geese use it on cold days in Pierre during the winter. We counted 10,000 on one of the mornings we were there and the lake was not full.
And here are a few on someone's lawn! You can see all three have red bands on their legs from Wascana Park.
In addition, to our geese being seen in Pierre, we have received colour bands from a couple other states including Nebraska, and Kansas!
If you are someone who has seen a red colour banded goose, please ensure you report your observations to www.reportband.gov. Thank you for your sightings!!