Popular Fresno State corn attracting large flock of geese

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Every morning during harvest season hundreds of geese gather at a field on the Fresno State campus in Northeast Fresno to get some of the university's famous corn.

Every morning during harvest season hundreds of geese gather at a field on the Fresno State campus in Northeast Fresno.

The reason: the famous corn produced by the university's agriculture department.

"We have some small ears that didn't get harvested for the season from the famous corn that we sell in our market here. And so the geese come in and help us devour what's left," said David Sieperda, Fresno State Farm Manager.

Sieperda said they are eating leftovers, which are the corn ears that didn't make the cut to be sold at the Gibson Farm Market.

The majority of the crop is harvest in June with the final harvest in September.

The geese that are picking out fresh ears from that crop are a bit of a concern.

"They're pretty good at picking out new emerging crops. So they do a little bit of damage in that respect," said Sieperda. "But we're prepared for that, we plant a little extra, and we get by."

Mark Halvorsen is animal curator with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo; he points out the majority of the geese in the Central Valley migrate here from Canada.

They make a new home because of the warmer weather and food supply.

"Here in Fresno we have tons of agriculture," he said. "So a lot of those fields will be growing throughout the year there will be something available for these geese to eat. So they will just go to those areas."

Halvorsen adds geese like to travel in large groups by foot and in the air, and just like humans in the Central Valley, they prefer to get things done early in the morning.

"At that time of day as long as the sun is not up too high and it is still relatively cool out. They will come out and fill their bellies with food and go back to an area where they feel more comfortable and cooler, go back out to bodies of water or wetlands in the area," said Halvorsen.
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