On April 27, 2022

Where have all the spring waterfowl gone?

Dear Editor,

Where are all the geese? Where is all the honking and splashing on Otter Creek, the signs of spring that usually come as a relief from the existential dread of yet another winter with temperatures too warm, mud season too soon?

They’re usually so reliable that I don’t even note the date of their appearance, unlike the mergansers and buffleheads whose arrival I record in a book each year. I haven’t seen those guys either, except once or twice in late winter, but usually the Canada geese are so plentiful that I take their joyful presence completely for granted. They’re so reliable that this year, without them, is not just eerie but a little bit terrifying.

Were the 70 geese found dead from avian flu in New Hampshire earlier this month the same geese who were supposed to be headed for my backyard? Our spring this year is not exactly silent — the peepers are doing their thing in the darkness, the red-winged blackbirds are busy all day — but where in god’s name are the waterfowl? Where is their musical honking?

Carolyn Kuebler, Middlebury

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