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May 13, 2014

Residents keep avian family comfortable

NORMAN — As the spring season transforms into summer, Oklahomans aren’t the only ones braving unpredictable weather. Norman’s wildlife is finding unique places to carry out survival habits.

A mother goose has chosen the Sam’s Club parking lot on West Main Street in Norman to raise her growing family, rain or shine, under the shade of a striped umbrella. As customers pass through the parking lot, arms with smartphones in hand extend out of car windows to capture nature’s funny ways.

Sam’s loss prevention manager Jennifer Fuloer has been working with WildCare Foundation of Noble and Norman Animal Welfare to care for their unsuspecting guest, along with Farrokh Moinian, Sam’s Club manager.

“Of all the places the goose could have picked to nest in, it’s funny that it chose the parking lot,” said Jane Valentine, a Sam’s Club employee.

But the parking lot proved to be enough for the mother goose to raise a family, and she soon nested in the mulchy parking lot median.

Though it seems strange to most, Rondi Large, director of WildCare, said this isn’t a rare occurrence.

“It’s that time of year for geese and ducks to nest,” Large said. “This is pretty standard behavior.”

Parking lots of various businesses — including Target, Kohl’s and Lowe’s — see birds during their nesting periods regularly because it proves to be a safe place for mother geese to incubate their eggs.

Large said WildCare’s phone has been ringing off the hook with calls about migratory birds and their parking lot nests.

“People are always concerned that it’s not near water, but they don’t need to be,” Large said. “It’s good because predators don’t lurk in parking lots.”

After calling WildCare, Sam’s Club managers learned there was no way to get rid of a goose in the middle of the nesting process, so they strove to make the most out of the occasion.

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