Williamsburg Goosed Again: Northside Waterfront's Canadian Invasion
First it was the the wave of bohemian artists, fleeing the newly-gentrified SOHO and DUMBO neighborhoods. Then came the speculator-developers, displacing the hipsters with high rents in the wake of 2005's massive rezoning. Now there's a new invasion: the Canadians!
Actually, the latest influx of interlopers is Canadian Geese (Branta canadensis), which have been frequenting the new - as yet unopened to humans - East River State Park, along the river between North 7th and North 9th Streets.
With last Spring's clearing and seeding of the formerly overgrown lots, the geese have designated the new park a veritable Vince Lombardi Rest Area along their "Atlantic Flyway" - a New Jersey Turnpike for migratory birds that parallels much of North America's East Coast. But instead of Roy Rogers burger combos and 64 oz coffees, these travelers chow down on a diet of grass, seeds, aquatic vegetation and occasionally insects and fish.
The big birds have at times been rounded up, driven off and even hunted from other parks they call home because of their perceived health-risk, a taste for freshly-seeded lawns, and the signature green turds they leave behind. Which makes us wonder how they'll coexist with nature-starved neighborhood humans once the park opens...