25 Jun 2011

Nature sorts things out: Happy ending for Too cute Gosling

Gosling with ducks ignores Geese
I wont pretend to have the answers, in fact I wont even try to figure it out, but today I got the most delightful surprise which just made my day.  The last time I saw the Gosling he was still bedded down with Mama duck and her brood.   He stayed with her even when a pair of Geese arrived.  In fact he totally ignored them.  You can see him in the back ground with the ducks in the photo just to the left.

I hadn't been to the pond to check on the little Gosling in a couple of days and decided today it was time to check on him despite the fact that I had many things to take care of.  When I arrived at the pond there was one lone male Mallard on the water and two adult Canada Geese at it's edge on one side.  No sign of Mama duck and her brood, or the gosling.  I decided immediately to do a walk about the pond to search for them.

Guarding the Gosling
Imagine my surprise when I made to walk past the adult Geese, only to spy the Gosling lying in the grass between them.   Both the adults were on guard and quite obviously in protective mode.  The Gosling on the other hand was completely relaxed and curious about my presence, although he didn't move until the adults did, and then it was to stay close to them.  As is my habit when I come upon any wildlife, I first stand very still and just observe, making no threatening movements of any kind.  When I do move it is slowly and deliberately.
Balanced on both feet
The Canada Geese reacted suspiciously at first and moved closer to the edge of the water and a quick escape.  However, a few minutes later both laid down on the ground and relaxed just a little, although they still kept a wary eye on me.  The Gosling of course followed.  I was delighted to see that although he was still limping somewhat, he was no longer walking on his ankle.  He was in fact putting all his weight on both feet, both of which now face the right direction.  He was also no longer silent.  It was the first time I've heard him peeping since he was hurt, and this time his peeps held a distinct lack of distress.

At this point I must admit that, although I was happy that Mama duck appeared to have adopted this gosling, I was a little concerned about how he would learn Goose behavior being in constant company of ducks.  Obviously I need not have worried, since mother nature has sorted everything out.  Mama duck was apparently a temporary babysitter.  Are these Canada Geese his parents?  Or are they adoptive parents who have maybe lost their own little ones?  Guess I will never know.  Some things just remain mysteries.


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