Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Goose

Hi again,

This is the story of the Greater White-fronted Goose. After a long day yesterday, we wanted to keep today's birding simple. Right as we were leaving our last local park, we got a call from Brett and Eddie Kasper. They told us that they had found a Greater White-fronted Goose at Northerly Island. They also told us that it had a broken wing. We rushed over there. When we got there, we immediately saw Brett and Eddie standing with their dad. I jumped out and hurried to them. There was no need to hurry though, because the goose was standing right there.

The wing was badly drooping and its feathers looked ruffed up. After saying thank you to Brett and Eddie, they left, but we decided to stay. My dad called Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and it turns out that they had been looking for this bird this morning, but had left about 15 minutes before we arrived. Apparently, they got a call last night from some people who saw the goose and they gave the description of a duck-goose-turkey-like-thing, but beige. The caller said it had a broken wing, too. Anyways, the volunteer from Flint Creek doubled back to where we were. I wanted to keep a constant eye on the bird, so my dad did all of the talking to Flint Creek. The bird constantly was slowly walking back and forth along the small grass patch it was feeding on.

As I watched the bird, a lady with her dog came up and flushed the goose into the harbor. It ungracefully flew/dropped down onto the ice and skidded about 20 feet. It slowly waddled its way back to the side of the harbor, where there was a boat ramp that it used to get in and out of it. It slowly but surely made it way back up. It plopped itself down right behind some newspaper stands right next to the side of the yacht club building. After a group of people walked right past it, it decided to waddle around the side of the building and out of my sight. I looped around and saw it hunkered under some bushes. About 5 minutes later, the Flint Creek volunteer, named Kate, arrived. She jumped right into action and circled around between the bird and the harbor. The next 5 minutes were a wild goose chase that ended right where it started.

The goose was hunkered under some bushes right along a metal fence. We had it cornered. It slowly moved along the row of bare bushes until it wound up in a dense evergreen bush that ended the row. We surrounded the bush, trying to make sure it didn't escape. We kept on trying to develop a plan of attack, but nothing worked out. The bush had too many twigs too low for us to get the goose. About 10 minutes passed by. We alternated positions multiple times, to see if we could find a good way to get the goose. Then, the goose started shuffling to one side of the bush. My dad was stationed right at the end of the path it was following. Suddenly, it burst out of the bush, right into my dad's hands. Kate then took the goose from my dad and held it delicately.

My dad pulled the car around and we drove to the center that was, luckily, just across the harbor from the goose. We dropped Kate off and sent our well wishes to the goose. As I was watching the Oscars, Dawn Keller sent me this email regarding the goose,

"The goose has no fractures. It has soft tissue injuries to the left wing and the primaries are on the left wing sheared off probably from getting hit by a car. The goose is also exceptionally thin. We will have to run a fecal to see if it's got parasites that are causing it to be so thin. At this point, I would say the prognosis is good."

I am so glad that the goose seems to be doing well. Hopefully it will be a success story. As for my year, this is a great bird with an even better story that I am hoping will have a happy ending. Who knows, maybe this story will be made into a movie.

1 comment:

  1. Good day!

    I am the one who called in the "goose/duck/turkey-bird" the night before! I thought that all the spinning on my sled with my son made me crazy, but truly the creature was something I had never seen before. :) What I did know was that it was injured and I wanted to get it some help.

    Thank you for posting this!!! I am so glad to see that because of all of our efforts this bird is on the road to recovery. Hooray!!!