If there’s an apt word to describe Canada geese, that’s the one. They’re always around, sometimes just a pair, more often honking in what seems like the hundreds. I tend to pay little attention to these loud-mouthed creatures.
But a few weeks ago, I woke to an eerily beautiful sight—a line of languid geese seemingly also starting their day. The group was strewn across Lake Allegan’s February ice. The air was misty…almost ethereal.
I wondered … did the birds spend their night on the ice?
That’s hard to say. We hear them in the darkness (all night … every night!), so maybe. It seems improbable that a goose would choose a windswept patch of ice for a sleeping spot. But watch the video and tell me what you think. Do the birds appear to be waking up?
Did you notice I haven’t used gaggle to describe the group of geese gathered on the ice? There are several collective nouns for geese. Here’s an excerpt from reference.com:
A group of geese is called different names depending upon whether the birds are in the air, in the water, on the ground or on land. When on land, the group is referred to as a gaggle. A group of geese flying in the air is called a skein. Once the group goes onto water, it is called a plump.
Apparently, what I saw is a plumpgaggle. Or was it a gaggleplump?
Whatever their collective noun, at least for once, they were quiet!