It’s Thanksgiving week, and for the first time I can remember, there are wild ducks in our beaver swamp, and Canada geese all over the village. Non-migrating ‘wild’ geese have of course been a growing problem on the East Coast for thirty years. Ducks have been sticking around too, but being shyer have not been a problem. However, this is Marlow, the “Icebox of Cheshire County” where the school mascot is a polar bear. Our birds may have only flown south to Connecticut, but they have always left. This year, they haven’t.
My understanding is that waterfowl can get through a Zone 6 winter. Colder than that and they need to get out of dodge. Marlow has historically been Zone 4.
In fairness, I must mention something else. The weather this spring was horrid, and many baby birds did not make it. Both the wild turkeys and the geese tried again and there were new poults and goslings in August. The turkeys are probably okay, but an August hatched goose cannot fly to Alabama in October. Geese love their babies. They’ll wait two months and ride south on a Nor’easter if that’s what it takes to save them. On the third hand, there were no August ducklings….
I’m hoping for zone 6. Farming this land in zone 4 is a slow way to starve. Zone 6 works.