St. Cloud, Minn. — One man got busted for taking a couple of Canada goose eggs from a nest at an apartment complex.
The man was curious about how they tasted, apparently.
A woman at the apartment complex saw the man, Jason Marson Michels, of St. Cloud, take two eggs from the goose nest, which had six eggs in it, said Chad Thesing, the DNR’s Albany area conservation officer.
“She watched him out of her window take two eggs out of the goose nest,” Thesing said. “He put one in his shirt pocket and one in his drink glass.”
That evening, the witness called Thesing and he followed up the next day, knocking on the man’s door. Thesing asked Michels if he took the eggs.
“He said, ‘What would the legality have been if I ate them?’” said Thesing, who told Michels that doing so was a violation of federal bird laws. “He said he did take them to eat them. I asked him if he had the shells.”
Michels produced the eggs’ shells.
“It was just him being curious,” Thesing said. “I guess he wondered what it tasted like. I didn’t ask if he had done this before. I’m guessing he hadn’t. … He said it tasted like regular chicken eggs but the yoke was more of a clear color. It was not as white and was much more rubbery, more tough.”
Thesing wrote up a single citation for taking a goose out of season. The ticket, which has yet to make its way through the court system, comes with about a $135 fine.
Maj. Rod Smith, assistant director of the DNR Enforcement Division, said that it’s pretty rare for goose eggs to be grabbed.
“I’ve heard stories back when geese were trying to be established, that stuff like this happened,” Smith said. “It’s a pretty rare occurrence, and if it does happen nowadays, it’s usually done where there’s been depredation.”
The state does issue depredation permits, Smith said, but those permits are for “flyers” and aren’t meant for Canada goose eggs.
In general, Canada geese are very protective of their nests.
“Usually, those sons of guns are pretty mean,” Smith said.
For that matter, Thesing said wildlife observers should leave eggs and newborns alone as they are discovered this spring, even when it is suspected that the young have been abandoned.
“People always find baby raccoons or bring me a box of ducklings when mom was 30 yards away, waiting for you to leave,” Thesing said, noting that the often well-meaning actions usually have bad outcomes for wildlife.