PHOTO: Massive geese crossing delays Abbotsford traffic

An orderly – if not particularly speedy – crossing of dozens of mature geese on Emerson Street slowed traffic Tuesday

A crossing of some two-dozen geese slowed traffic on Emerson Tuesday morning

A large proportion of Mill Lake Park’s geese population decided to head, on foot, for greener pastures Tuesday morning, briefly tying up traffic in downtown Abbotsford.

The park has seen its number of resident geese explode in the last year thanks to weather conditions. On Tuesday, a large number of the geese moved, at the same time, in double-file formation, from the park, across Emerson to the large grassy area beside MSA Arena.

Dan Goldsmith, who took a photo of the crossing, estimated that more than 100 geese made the crossing.

Last month, the city’s parks, recreation and culture committee received a proposal and recommendation for goose eggs to be addled (shaken) in order to prevent the hatching of new birds.

This May, a biological survey counted 126 geese at Mill Lake Park, nearly double the number counted a year before. There are also large populations at Albert Dyck Park, Willband Creek Park, and along the Fishtrap Creek Trail.

A city report notes that the local geese population has expanded as the birds seek areas where they are safe from predators and hunters. The region’s farms are providing an “unprecedented abundance of high quality food on the landscape” that allows the birds to survive the winter and reach the egg-laying season in prime condition.