Around MKE

Gertie 2.0: Virginia “Ginny” the Goose


Everything old is new again. There’s nothing new under the sun. Retro is in vogue. However you put it, it all means the same thing. And it seems to be the case right here in Milwaukee.

A Canada goose has chosen an odd location to incubate its eggs for the next several weeks. The location is of note for several reasons. Her nesting ground, the Wisconsin Avenue bridge, is an area smack dab in the middle of downtown Milwaukee with lots of bothersome foot-traffic nearby. More curiously, the goose has chosen the exact location Gertie the Duck sat on her eggs nearly 70 years ago.

Gertie was a mallard who captivated the City and nation in 1945. Replacement of the Wisconsin Avenue pilings was delayed when it was discovered the bird had made a home for her future family underneath the bridge. Gertie the Duck served as a welcome distraction from the dreariness of the war effort. She graced the pages of the Milwaukee Journal for 37 days, as an enthralled Milwaukee waited on edge for her eggs to hatch.

Virginia “Ginny” the Goose, as she’s been dubbed, has taken on Gertie’s mantle by planting her nest not 20 yards from the statue made in Gertie’s likeness. To learn more about the Wisconsin Avenue bridge guest, JSOnline has written an article discussing the phenomenon.



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