More geese than people

Pierre is mostly populated by Canada Geese. Lots of geese.

Capitol Lake, which as the name suggests is right by the capitol, never ices over as it is fed by a warm artesian spring. Quite a few Canada Geese discovered that spending the winter in Pierre was far preferable to making the trek farther south. This is what the lake looks like:

They're not just in the lake. They also hang out on the lawn around the capitol.

In addition to the geese, there are some mallards and a few American Coots.

The coot is the plump grey one in the middle with the lobed feet. According to the Cornell Ornithology Lab, America Coots aren't supposed to overwinter here, but I think there must be a few that discovered the warm lake and decided to stay.

There are so many geese on the lake that it's incredibly loud. When they take off or come in for a landing you can hear them flapping their wings. I would definitely avoid this park if you're terrified of birds.

As we were leaving (and dodging an inordinate amount of goose poo), we passed a family who just arrived to feed the geese.

Yeah, those guys don't look like they need any help getting through the winter.


  1. I bet they would flock like seagulls when you try to feed them!

  2. Wait, there's another family!? South Dakota population count just went up!

  3. The geese definitely knew who had bread and followed the family with the snacks. We didn't stick around to see what happened when they ran out of treats!

  4. If only they weren't covered by some international migratory bird treaty...