Geese invade NIU

By Anthony Szudarski

NIU has been invaded by monsters from Canada. No, not Justin Bieber—geese.

These birds are crazy and they don’t care about the people on campus.

I’ve walked by one of these fearless geese on the sidewalk outside DuSable and the bird kept staring at me like I was hiding bread. I’ve seen them waddle in the streets, unafraid of buses and cars that have to stop to avoid them, and I’ve watched as they pick at trash on the ground.

These geese aren’t new to NIU and DeKalb. They were here last year and the year before. They keep coming back and they aren’t going anywhere. Maybe the community should start charging them for room and board?

Many of us are reliving events of last year because of these geese, like when Boris (a notorious goose that made its home near the Chick Evans Field House) would chase, bite and squawk at all passersby. He’d even go so far as to attack parked cars.

I know I’m not the only one with issues with these geese; I’m sure everyone on campus has a story.

Sophomore biochemistry major Andrew Neubauer remembers a time where he encountered the geese.

“The geese think they own the crosswalks,” Neubauer said. “This one time I was waiting at the crosswalk by the VCB and the geese were occupying it…and they just crossed into the middle of traffic, stopping a bus and a guy on a motorcycle. They almost caused the guy on the motorcycle to crash.”

Though I have never witnessed an incident as threatening as this, there have been times that I’ve been squawked at and followed for quite a while as the goose was giving me the evil eye.

It’s not just the geese; squirrels seem to be taking a page out of the “friendly” wildlife playbook by crawling up to people, investigating bags put on the ground for food or searching trash cans. Where does it end?

These animals have lost all fear of people, and who do we blame? Well, not us, obviously, but how about the “king” of the water fowl that can be found at the east lagoon? The lone white duck is obviously the one leading the rest in order to drive the NIU community mad.

Nesting on top of residence halls, taking up the sidewalks and crosswalks, these geese have been an issue to everyone on campus.

However, winter is coming, meaning the geese will be migrating and the squirrels will go into hibernation. But what do we do until then?

“They’re like the students of NIU who don’t care,” Neubauer said. But they do care about one thing: food.

I’m not going to go on a big rant about how littering is bad and how you should pick up after yourself—that’s not my style. But by throwing uneaten food on the ground or into overflowing trash cans, we just make it easier for the animals to stay around longer and become domesticated. They’re looking to the people on campus as their primary food source.

So if you don’t want to be that guy running from a hungry goose, be sure to eat that entire Pop-Tart.