Where do the ducks go when the lake freezes over?
Lucky for these ducks, hanging out near the Swing Bridge in Huntsville, that part of the river never completely freezes, because these ducks no longer migrate south come winter.
Why that is, along with the question of why the Canada geese now winter in Toronto, remains unanswered, and a touch disquieting. We can remember the great flocks of geese heading north in spring, everyone coming outside to cheer them on. Those huge honking V's in the sky were truly the proof that winter was over, spring was here. If a goose stopped on the bay, or on the lawn, it was probably exhausted, and just resting up before heading after the rest of the flock. We'd move quietly, grab cameras, maybe even toss out a handful of cracked corn.
Now, the geese leisurely flap to Toronto, and come summer, they touch down on our lake to stay. While it is undoubtedly a lovely sight to see a pair of Canada geese sail majestically past with their goslings, it's not the norm. Or at least it didn't used to be... And now we struggle to discourage those geese from stopping on the property, on the docks or beaches, along with just about everyone else. Toronto copes (or fails to cope) with a huge 'goose problem' at the public beaches and parks. We miss the good old days when seeing the geese in Spring and Fall was a cause for celebration! Fly north, young goose, Fly North!!!
The ducks, well, they leave us in the fall because our lake does freeze, but the Huntsville river does not. Handouts of food seem to regularly drop from the bridge above, often from the willing hands of people who like to see the ducks. And we all like to see the ducks. Still... while the question children used to ask us, Where do the ducks go when the lake freezes over? The question we ask ourselves nowadays is, Why don't the birds migrate any more?