________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 17 . . . . April 27, 2001

cover Wild Goose Chase.

Leonard Gilday (Director). Gillian Darling Kovanic (Producer, NFB), Michael Allder (Producer, CBC).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2000.
49 min., 30 sec., VHS, $39.95.
Order Number: C9100 011.

Sunject Headings:
Snow goose.
Canada goose.

Grades 3 - 8 / Ages 8 - 13.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

**** /4


What are humans supposed to do when a species they worked so hard to save is now taking over?
Wild Goose Chase documents the dilemma North Americans face now that Canada Geese have come back from being an over hunted bird to becoming overpopulated. Canada Geese and their cousins now number in the millions. They are considered responsible for changing the landscape where they congregate and for destroying the habitat for other species, polluting bodies of water with their waste, creating a nuisance for humans in cities and eating millions of dollars worth of crops each year. Added to their amazing ability to adapt and reproduce, they are getting harder to hunt.

      The video provides gorgeous scenes of massive flocks of geese in flight, eating and nesting. Historical footage and narration inform the viewer that the goose was a popular target of early settlers and farmers right up to the 1960's because it was easy, free food. Widespread hunting and habitat loss caused their numbers to dwindle, and so deliberate efforts were made to protect eggs, develop wetlands and to plan "lure" crops. Those measures were too successful, and today Canada Geese are found in playgrounds and parks in major cities across North America where they can bathe in the many ponds and lakes that have been created in locales such as fields, golf courses and suburbs. Their noise and waste are a nuisance, but some geese have found urban environments so pleasant that they no longer migrate. Now, natural enforcement officers or "goosebusters" have the less than envious task of seeking out and resettling newly hatched goslings, to the annoyance of the mother geese and sympathetic passers by.

      The heroes of the film are Marge and Homer, two stubborn geese that just won't quit. Each year, they return to incubate their eggs in a flowerpot outside a busy Vancouver cafe, and the owners co-operate by blocking off the makeshift nursery.

      Wild Goose Chase will entertain and educate children who are learning about birds, habitat and adaptation.

Highly Recommended.

Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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