A big honkin’ security success with no ruffled feathers

They were a stern group of individuals arriving at the East Office Building (EOB) early last Tuesday morning. Dressed in full Security Services regalia, the intrepid group carried their long raincoats like armour in front of them. Were they at the EOB to quell a disturbance? Was it an emergency? Why were they carrying their raincoats on such an unseasonably warm and sunny spring day?

Silently and with stealth, the Security Services managers walked through the offices and onto the damp grass in the enclosed central EOB courtyard. "There are just three this year," whispered Dragan Spasojevic (right), manager of community relations & crime prevention. “Walk slowly,” he warned his crew. “Hold your jackets with the black side out.”

There, clustered in the corner of the courtyard were the subjects of this early morning security detail – two young Canada geese with three goslings. The father hissed a warning to his spouse. Glancing up, she moved in front of her offspring and prepared to face off against the men in red and black advancing towards her.

Both parents appeared grouchy this morning, perhaps because they knew their bills were over dew? Whatever it was, York’s brave Security Services team, renowned egg-spurts in this special duty, hoisted their heavy jackets up as a shield in anticipation of a possible poultry-geist and advanced slowly towards the family. They gently herded the Canada geese out of the courtyard and into the office building.

Left: Walking slowly and with great care, Security Services staff attempt to herd the Canada geese into the EOB

As far as a security procedure goes, the trek through the offices went off with just a few mynah problems but no egrets.

The parents, resigned to their journey, escorted their brood through the EOB hallways, pausing at intervals to gander at the EOB staff lining the route. As they reached the side doors, the family marched out to the parking lot and the grassy knoll beyond.

Right: Honking furiously, the geese and their goslings navigate the EOB offices, effectively avoiding any potential quack-ups

Each year, said Spasojevic, Security Services managers and staff in EOB look forward to the gosling march. The EOB courtyard, which is an enclosed grassy area, has served as a gosling nursery for the past four years. The problem with such a downy situation, said Spasojevic, is that there is no escape route for the goslings should the area be infiltrated by nefarious raccoons or other predators.

Once freed of the confines of the EOB, the family waddled their way to the Boyer Woodlot pond, where they joined another family of Canada geese. The smallest of the goslings appeared to hesitate before entering the water, and the others turned to him as if to say, "What are you, chicken?"

Left: The family enjoys their new surroundings. (No feathers were lost during the episode.)

Rumour has it that the University will recoup the cost of guiding the birds by putting it on the father’s bill. Click here to watch the Web feet of 2007.

By Jenny Pitt-Clark, YFile editor