Better together: Geese couples at TAU

This Valentine's Day we decided to find out the story behind the geese pairs often spotted roaming the campus

13 February 2017
A romantic stroll, poolside (photo: henco2105)
A romantic stroll, poolside (photo: henco2105)

How do you like to spend Valentine's Day? A romantic dinner, a movie date, or maybe a weekend somewhere quiet and remote? If you're looking for inspiration on how to surprise your significant other this year, we would suggest taking a cue from the geese who've been spotted roaming the Tel Aviv University campus.


Always in sets of two, these feathery creatures have been making the best of what the university has to offer. Students have been photographing them strolling by the pool at the Sports Center, taking in the architecture, enjoying sunshine on the lawns, and even making friends with the local feline population. 


In honor of Valentine's Day we decided to consult Dr. Ron Elazari, head of The I. Meier Segals Garden for Zoological Research and ask him about romance among waterfowl and how these geese first arrived on campus.


"There's a group of Egyptian geese who live in the Yarkon river and occasionally drop by the Tel Aviv University campus, including the lawns and facilities at the sports center," said Dr. Elazari. "It's not just one couple, they sometimes land in groups here at the Zoological Garden. The largest group we've seen was 24 geese. But they do usually walk around as male-female couples, even when they arrive in a group. The male has a larger, more "square" head, which you can also see in these photos."


"They're very romantic couples, and during mating season they can get quite aggressive, especially if other fowl get close to their nest. We had one case, about three-four years ago, when several chicks hatched on campus and the mother was very distraught because of all the people around. She was aggressive and made a lot of noise. Security called the Zoological Garden and asked to transfer the family to us, but they could only catch the chicks. So, the security guard drove a scooter, holding a cardboard box with the babies, while the mom was flying overhead, honking, until they finally arrived at the Garden. As soon as we took the chicks out of the box the mother landed and took them into the bushes."


Taking in the sights and interesting sculptures.


Making friends with ginger cats.


Interacting with students on one of TAU's many lawns.



In their natural marine habitat.



Always together, even when each is exploring their own interests.

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