Goose and duck report

May 2, 2018 • 1:30 pm

I’m saddened to say that the six goslings from yesterday are now five. I have no idea what happened to the sixth one, but it’s clearly gone, and it makes me very sad. Meanwhile, 88K (female) and 92P (male) continue their parental duties.  Here are the five remaining chicks:

Anna, my co-tender, got her official goose-spotting certificate yesterday. It turns out that the male and female were banded by the same person (presumably at the same place) on the same day two years ago. This means that they’ve been a mated pair ever since. How sweet! I wasn’t sure that Canada geese were socially monogamous.

92P with three of his offspring:

A cute gosling. Let’s hope there will be no more attrition.

Meanwhile, I continue to feed Sir Francis twice a day; he comes readily to me and eats from my hand. The geese eat grass, of which there’s plenty, and I keep them away from the corn lest Honey return and have to compete for food. Here’s my boy:

And his lovely features:



25 thoughts on “Goose and duck report

  1. How about naming them:
    88K, K8, that’s “Kate”.
    92P, P9, how about “Pino”. Or from g-too-pe, could become “Giuseppe”.

    1. Another approach, since their spotters you and Anna are the wrong way around, she would become Geraldine (Jerry female) and he could be Anno or Anton (from Anna as male).

  2. I must admit, I am not a fan of Canada Geese.

    They can be quite aggressive in suburban parks. I am thinking of Cannon Hill in B’ham. They made the experience of feeding the ducks quite unpleasant.

      1. That’s why i was wondering, what if anything took the Gosling,? as Geese are very aggressive Birds.

  3. I think that it was the editors of ornithological journals who have us all being required to call any baby bird a “chick”. I object! Aren’t they goslings here? What an insult to the eagle, king among birds, to hear its little one called a chick.

      1. I have been observing 3 Eaglets from hatching to the present on the Decorah Web Cam, they are getting Huge and the are only a few weeks old , luckily the nest is next to a Trout Farm, they are just having the second Trout of the morning.

    1. Indeed. Possibly previously habituated to humans.

      So many geese now breed/raise goslings in the retention ponds of large shopping centers surrounded by lawn. Nice appropriation of a novel habitat.

  4. Your mention of sympathy for the broad band worn by the male goose reminded me of my concern for years for collared wild animals. I understand the science reasons for collars but unaddressed as far as I know are the possible conditions that may be promoted by collaring. The materials used must be sturdy and snug enough so that they will not be snagged and cause strangling. Are they impregnated with anti bacterials? If not, knowing what over used, tight dog collars and horse halters can do to skin, I have always wondered to what extent wild animals suffer from fungus growth or sores or infections under the collars. Maybe someone here can enlighten me?

    1. “…unaddressed as far as I know are the possible conditions that may be promoted by collaring.”

      Yes, there’s been a lot of attention paid to such things. Most scientists care for their subjects as much or more than many of the public. A very quick Google search yielded all these studies in just the first few pages:

      That’s a very random sample and I didn’t even use Google Scholar (forgot to).

      1. Hmm, it occurs to me that the titles of the articles might have helped. Here they are, in order:


        Southern hemisphere territories : flipper bands hinder king penguins

        A phylogenetically controlled meta‐analysis of biologging device effects on birds: Deleterious effects and a call for more standardized reporting of study data


        Causes of Ring-Related Leg Injuries in Birds – Evidence and Recommendations from Four Field Studies

        A review of the use and the effects of marks and devices on birds

  5. I am surprised that two geese banded on the same day nearly two years ago and 200 miles away would show up as a mating pair in a UC pond.

      1. Yes. That makes it a bit less surprising. Still, these geese have been together for nearly two years. I guess geese really are monogamous.

  6. I really really hope that Honey is nearby but kind of hidden sitting on a nest. Several years ago there were large potted plants on either side of a doorway, and in each one was a mama duck. The ducks were hidden by the large plants.

    One of the mother duck’s eggs didn’t hatch, and soon she left the plant. The other duck stayed put in her plant pot. The eggs hatched, and the mother duck led the ducklings across the street to the park and the creek.

    I hope that one of these days Honey will come back to you with her kids.

    1. Yes, the bander will have been informed by the USGS, who contacted him for verification. After all, that’s why they collect our data–so the bander can keep track of where the birds have shown up.

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