FRIDLEY, Minn - It's a full-blown fowl takeover in Fridley.
"I call it Occupy Locke Lake," said Patrick Leong, a homeowner on the lake. "They make noise from morning until night."
Locke Lake is typically home to a dozen or so waterfowl, but not anymore. Thousands of geese and ducks have descended and neighbors are concerned about two main issues.
"Noise and poop," says Leong. "We're worried about algae bloom from the excrement left behind and it's so noisy we can't enjoy the lake."
Leong and others know exactly why they're here. "They've been here since the train derailment."
In July, a BNSF train derailed dumping hundreds of pounds of corn into Locke Lake. The railroad and other state agencies cleaned up what they could, but those that live on the lake say they didn't clean all of the mess.
"It's like National Geographic all the time," says Leong. "They're here for the corn and they're not leaving."
The masses of ducks and geese are so impressive, Leong grabbed his camera and started documenting the birds through video. He says people can't believe it.
"It's hard to have conversation sometimes," says Leong, who actually tested the decibel levels of the geese, shown in his video.
The Minnesota DNR estimates the state is home to 350,000 Canadian geese, which is the third largest population in Minnesota in ten years. Combine that with above average temperatures, no snow and open water, and folks may notice more feathered friends this year.
"It's later than people are used to," said Jim LaBarre, Assistant Wildlife Manager for the DNR. "Most of the fall was mild so the migration is happening all at once."
As for "Occupy Locke Lake," LaBarre says it's possible they could return to the same spot in the spring, but it's not a guarantee.
"Birds have an internal GPS system," LaBerre said. "It's possible."
A return of the flock would be an unwelcomed sight for Patrick Leong.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed," says Leong.
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