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Geese set up shop, again, at Jewel in Hickory Hills

Employees Jewel-Osco 95th Street Roberts Road Hickory Hills say these geese return annually parking lot. There was least one egg

Employees of the Jewel-Osco at 95th Street and Roberts Road in Hickory Hills say these geese return annually to the parking lot. There was at least one egg on the nest Friday. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 14, 2014 6:43AM



It may not have the same impact on a community as do the swallows returning every year to Capistrano, or even the alewives that used to pile up on Chicago’s beaches, but the geese are back outside the Jewel-Osco in Hickory Hills.

As they have in recent years, two large geese have set up shop on a triangular plot of land boasting a tree and decorative landscaping in the parking lot of the grocery store at 9528 S. Roberts Road.

It’s a busy store, with customers constantly streaming in and out, some walking just a few feet from the nest that at least on Friday contained a large white egg.

Vehicles steadily pass within a few feet, too. Some are parked close enough to draw a steely stare from the male goose, the kind of look that says, “Steer clear or else.”

Just a block or so west is the Hickory Hills Country Club, a quieter place where one would think a goose would feel far more comfortable than in an asphalt parking lot near a busy store. Not these geese.

Briar Kovach, of Evergreen Park, stopped to check out the geese after she stopped Friday afternoon to shop before visiting her grandma in Justice.

“That’s weird. Right here in the parking lot,” Kovach said.

Kovach held the hand of her 4-year-old sister Bella.

“That’s a nest,” she said, leaning down to tell the little girl.

Bella was fascinated by the geese. Her one-word review?

“Cool,” she said.

Bella was tempted to inch a bit closer until a man walking past cautioned Kovach, Bella and Kovach’s boyfriend, Ferris Tolaymat, also of Evergreen Park, to give the birds plenty of space.

“You’ve got to be careful with geese because if it’s a nest, they’ll attack you. Their wings are sharp. They can cut you open,” the man said as he walked toward the store’s entrance.

Bella backed off, but the male goose was still keeping a watchful eye.

“They need to go somewhere else,” Tolaymat said.

Gertrude Czerniak, of Justice, however, is glad the geese are nesting outside the grocery store.

“I think it’s beautiful. It’s great. I used to raise geese when we first moved out to Justice. We used to get the eggs. They’re a decent size. It’s great for the kids to learn something, and it’s very nice,” Czerniak said.

Before she drove away, she said that geese at her home “were great watchdogs that would honk at anybody who came up the driveway.”

There was no honking by the geese on Friday afternoon; no hissing to ward off any perceived threats.

“I’m surprised that he isn’t doing that,” a cashier said. “They are very protective. I think they’re the same geese that were here the last few years.”



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