There is a lot that I could say about the people the Stratford, Canada. But I think the first thing you should know is that they love spending time by the water. Almost exclusively. They LOVE large bodies of water!
Please ignore the humans standing there.
The most important residents of Stratford you will encounter are the waterfowl that call Victoria Lake home.
There are three different types of water birds you will encounter on your walk by the lake The first, as pictured above, are ducks. These are mallard ducks, which are very common pretty much all over North America so you have most likely seen a duck outside of Stratford. But these are nice too, during this time of our visit the babies have hatched so we got see ducklings! You, too, could be so lucky.
Ducks are the nicest birds you will meet by the water. They are very okay with you walking around them. If you make them uncomfortable they pull a very Midwestern move and just… go away. Most of the time they will just sit there, very calmly and nonthreatening. They might like you. Some humans give them food. Ducks are polite. Ducks are your friends.
Geese are not.
“But Mackenzie, look at how cute the baby goose is! I could be it’s friend!”
NO. First, they are called goslings. Second, their parents hate you. Geese do not want your friendship, they want your submission. When you walk by geese, they will not move you must alter your course so as to not get too near them. If you do get to close they might hiss at you, might not, it just depends on how that particular goose is feeling. They stare at you, threateningly, willing you to disrespect them. They travel in packs.
Those are all geese. Geese do not like you. They are indifferent to human suffering. Do not make eye contact. If ducks are Midwestern, geese are angry New Yorkers. For having the name “Canada Goose” you might think they would be nice. You might think that, but you would be wrong. Enjoy from a distance, if you can enjoy at all. Just ask Dr. LaPearle what she thinks.
The last bird you will see is a swan.
Regal. Majestic. Long-necked. The Ugly Ducking’s parents.
Swans are many things, but they are indifferent to you. They do not hate you like geese and they are not your friend like a duck. Swans will ignore you when you walk by because you are beneath them. They are Royalty and you are a lowly peasant. Their preference would be that you not get too close but they are so intimidating to look at, you won’t want to. I saw a swan with their child (called a cygnet which makes no sense) and went to take a picture. Here is that result:
Look at the loathing on the mom’s face, she did not enjoy it. The good thing about swans is that they do not like geese. You will not see a goose near a swan because a swan will have none of the nonsense that a goose brings. Towards ducks– like most things– they do not care. But a goose? Mortal enemies.
The birds of Victoria Lake are an interesting commodity. Please, enjoy and respect our semi-aquatic birds. Also, probably don’t feed them? I don’t know the rules or law specifically but better safe than sorry.
Edit: upon further investigation the is food to feed the birds with available for purchase. Warning: they will probably follow you. Which is apparently not self-explanatory.