Chicago Sun-Times
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Chicago lakefront: Geese & dead shad question

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There are many mysteries about the die-off of gizzard shad on the Chicago lakefront.


Here's another one.

While downloading photos--I wanted to document the Canada geese and mallards eating the dead shad on Jan. 7--I noticed that one goose actually had a shad encased in ice.

We thought it had been trying to catch a dying shad that kept slipping away.

But after looking at the photo, I think they may have learned to try to bust the ice off of the shad.

Here's a blow-up.


Has anybody else seen something like this? Any where?

Any thoughts, I would love to hear it. Post below or e-mail me at

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The Geese in winter probably have become opportunistic and may be changing their diet to accomodate a ready food supply perhaps different than the normal commute to a corn field for spilled and waste grain...heck they'll eat Wonder Bread as handouts at gull frolics! Why not gizzard shad? Though it seems a little fishy to me. I don't know if this has been documented anywhere else. Interesting!
Thanks for sharing!

dbj Author Birds of Chicago

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 15, 2011 6:50 AM.

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