One recent day I met a group of five geese along the river, four of which had “angel wing,” the deformity that is increasing among waterfowl and is thought to be caused by people feeding them. It makes it impossible for them to fly and do other functions like eating, escaping danger and socializing, leading to an early, painful death.
There are two 5-by-8-inch signs that are often engulfed by blackberries at the open area near the River House saying not to feed the waterfowl. These signs are green and easy to miss, with no explanation.
Springfield’s Island Park and Portland’s Laurelhurst Park have large, illustrated, informational signs which help people understand how feeding them actually hurts these beautiful birds.
I have called and emailed the city repeatedly and am told that they don’t want too many signs and they’re not effective. That has not been my observation. People use these kinds of informational signs to teach their children and engage them in different issues. I think people usually appreciate knowledge.
I have tried to inform people I see with their large sacks of white bread about this and am invariably met by anger and often cursing.
I think that we are so lucky to have these beautiful creatures still with us, and that we should do what we can to protect them. I offered to make a sign but was told not to.
Of the group of four geese that had angel wing, three have disappeared, leaving one lone survivor.