Thursday, May 27, 2010

Canada Goose family tragedy

I was at Heron Park in Vermillion County (IL) yesterday afternoon looking for the resident Sandhill Crane pair (I eventually saw them at a distance).

While I was there I kept hearing cars honking on the highway. Sometimes the cars would stop and honk persistently. I walked up to the highway, looked east, and saw a family of Canada Geese standing on the edge of the highway, sometimes moving farther out onto the pavement. I thought to myself "Why don't these geese just cross the road and move on?".

I left Heron Park a half hour later and the geese were still there, which seemed odd. As I drove slowly by, I spied a dead gosling on the edge of the pavement, apparently hit by a passing car. The parents stood there looking perplexed/confused, like they expected the gosling to get up and follow them, and couldn't figure out why it wasn't doing that. The other goslings stood nearby on the gravel shoulder of the highway.

I'm not a big fan of Canada Geese...they're aggressive, noisy, and leave a big mess behind. But my heart went out to these two birds, it was such a sad scene. I wonder how much longer they stood there, waiting for the little guy to get up and follow them?

1 comment:

  1. That is heart-wrenching. Even though the geese are obnoxious and they are everywhere, it's easy to have more sympathy for them while they are raising young.

    I yelled at an adult and teen for tormenting goslings (and wrote about that on my blog, also on blogspot.)

    I saw something strange on Sunday, in WI. One lone very young, small gosling was with about five adults. They all took off at once, flying to the water, leaving the gosling to run after them. Normally, the parent walks with the young to the water. The little gosling caught up with them, but how scared it seemed.