The old advice about never getting between a mother and her baby is equally true for people, grizzly bears and - apparently now - Canada Geese.
The adage is coming true in the parking lot of an Albemarle County hotel, where a very protective mother goose is standing guard.
The goose has been sitting outside the Fairfield Inn since Thursday night. Employers at the hotel say several guests have complained that it's hissing at them, and a wildlife expert says it may not be moving anytime soon.
People walked by Friday to take a gander at the not-so-welcoming goose, just one of thousands of mother geese on guard this spring.
"Love is in the air, it's springtime and they're sort of running around finding places to nest the whole let's-have-babies syndrome the geese get into this time of year," said Hank Shugart, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia.
The goose caught the eyes of many curious - yet cautious - hotel guests.
"It didn't get lost or something but maybe it just has to protect its little egg and had no choice and had to sit down right there," said passerby Molly Gallipeau.
Employees at the hotel say they called animal services, only to learn animal services does not have trained wildlife specialists.
"We really don't respond to a call with a wildlife animal unless that animal is just very sick or injured or unable to move out of the roadway," said Carter Johnson, spokesperson for the Albemarle County police.
Without animal services to send the goose on its way, Shugart says it might be sticking around.
"My guess is if they're staking out a territory there they may be there for a while," Shugart said.
Shugart says geese in central Virginia don't migrate, but it seems like there are more this time of year because they are broken up into pairs rather than flocks. He says only time will tell when the mother goose will move from its nesting spot, and as the classic book "Mother Goose" reads: "When she wanted to wander, would ride through the air on a very fine gander."
Shugart says the Senior Center in Charlottesville is a prime location for geese. He thinks the mother goose may have wondered over from there.