I love running at City Park.
The view of downtown from the Museum of Nature and Science is my favorite in the city.
But, that's not the number one reason I run at City Park.
Every time I go, I look for one specific thing.
This. Odd. Duck. I mean - goose.
And when I was finally able to do a story on this goose today, I found out there are TWO of these geese at City Park. (Maybe that's why it was so easy to spot each time?)
"This is actually a greylag. It's a goose that is actually a transplant from Europe," said Deputy Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation Scott Gilmore. "You'll see them in a park setting. You'll see different birds that probably aren't supposed to be here."
When I thought there was one, I named him "Father Goose," just to be different from Mother Goose. But now that I know there are two, I'll tell you how you can find Mother and Father Goose.
They're always just south and west of Duck Lake, if not in Duck Lake. Duck Lake is the lake that borders the back of the Denver Zoo.
But, why are the odd geese in City Park at all?
"At this point, it lives here. It's a bird that this is its home. It's here year-round," said Gilmore. "You can see them on farms even today. When they get tired of them, they'll bring them to the park, people do this a lot, they'll bring animals to the park because it's open space, and they'll release them."
The two greylags are among the 500-700 geese that live in City Park all year.
"We have all the migratory geese in the park right now. We could probably have up to, probably, 3,000-4,000 geese in a day in the park."
If you think talking about a different looking goose would be a waste of time for the city's deputy director of parks, he actually wished he had brought his binoculars to the interview.
"You can see lots of different bird species in the park, it's amazing," said Gilmore. "In this area, I could probably see 15 different bird species."
He sat on a bench overlooking Duck Lake, pointing out the variety of birds.
"There's a diving duck right there. Some are widgeons, some are scaups," he said as a duck torpedoed headfirst into the water.
"You have dabblers, which are like a mallard. You'll see them dip over and you'll see their butts in the air," said Gilmore. "Hopefully, some parents can see this and say, maybe instead of my kid sitting in front of a video game all night, maybe we'll get some binoculars, we'll go out to the park, buy an easy bird book, and go out and ID some birds."
He said the city is considering putting up some spotter scopes near Duck Lake to make it easier to peep on the birds. He does, however, have one request for anyone who goes looking for them.
"Don’t feed the wildlife. Wildlife is wildlife. They do not need your handouts," said Gilmore. "They do just fine without us providing food for them."
Even Mother and Father Goose.