Sunday, April 25, 2021

geese

my usual study location is still closed to me, so i have found a new study location that sits right on the border between state forest and town land. since i'm now an appointed conservation commissioner in my town, i feel this raises my observations up from the level of frittering away my time looking at cool things right into actual work. you know research and monitoring.


but still i'm just mostly frittering away my time looking at cool things.


anyway, there's a pair of canada geese at my study location.


this is a picture of the male.



why yes,  there are beaver involved, thanks for asking. anyway.

i was pretty near this spot one day when the female on the nest suddenly appeared. i mean, she'd been sitting on the nest for at least twenty minutes completely motionless and it took me that long to spot her when she decided that i was not a threat and stopped being invisible.

they don't have a magic cloak or anything; it's just that one of the things geese do really well is blend in with the environment. 

but on april 6th i was sitting for a while watching her on the nest when she moved around some, and THERE WAS AN EGG and i watched her cover it in feathers, so i'm guessing she had just laid it. i don't know if that was the first egg or the last one, but they lay one a day until the whole clutch is there so now we're twenty days out which means sometime next week there are going to be goslings.

a couple few days after that i was out there with my friend barb  and we were sitting there listening to the frogs and watching the female on the nest when all of a sudden we saw the male's head pop up out over the pond, which indicated a level of alarm.

he started coming closer and eventually we heard it- the honking of another pair of geese coming in for a landing which JUST WILL NOT DO so he came charging out at full speed all snappy and honky and the interlopers did not seem dissuaded but the female stood up on the nest and also snapped and honked at them and the pair decided not to land on this pond after all.

now, when he got all aggressive and started going after the other pair like I WILL KILL YOU she could have said "honey? it's the petersons. do you remember the petersons? they were next to us in the V during migration?"

but no. she did not say that. instead what she said was something along the lines of YESSSSS.  THAT IS SO HHOTTTTT. I WILL HELP YOU KILL THE PETERSONS.

and then he continued to be very aggressive for several minutes while she postured and displayed herself to him and then they did a thing that ornithologists call "the triumph ceremony".

it was very impressive.








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