the geese are still molting. a gently sloping clearing beside a pond on one of my usual walks was littered with feathers. each of these feathers is 6-8 inches long. i’ve heard it can be painful to molt. here’s what a quick google search said:
“You may notice a bird scratching more often while molting. … During molting a bird may experience a few behavioral changes. The sensitive new feathers can be painful to touch, and the itchiness caused from the flaking feather sheaths, may make a bird a little uncomfortable and moody.”
several sights said more or less the same thing. so, rather than painful, perhaps sensitive and irritable are better descriptors. in any case, i feel for the birds. itchy skin and irritability…that ain’t fun.
canada goose feathers