Geese and Goslings

I should have taken a camera.

Just off the bike trail, at the edge of the pond, were five goslings and two geese.

A week or so ago I’d noticed two geese by a smaller pond not far away.   One sitting on a nest, pretending she could not be seen.   One day her neck was stretched out, parallel to the ground.  Another day her neck curled around her body, head tucked in tight.  Her partner was close:  floating on the little pond, standing near the nest, or keeping watch up closer to the sidewalk.

Now there were five fluffy yellow and black baby geese mimicking mom, pecking at the ground between the people path and the pond.  Standing guard just off the path, dad was none too happy with passersby.

At least I think it was mom and dad.  But I have to admit I can’t tell one adult goose from another.  After hearing Charity Nebbe interview wildlife biologist Jim Pease on Iowa Public Radio, I now know that it’s not only the parents who bring up baby geese.  (You can hear the interview here: Parenting in the Wild.)

The goose doing guard duty looked like he (I’m sticking with dad) was making a noise – neck stretched up, beak open, tongue darting in and out – but I couldn’t hear it.  As I got closer, he hissed at me.  Meanwhile the other goose ignore me and the brood kept moving around pecking the ground.

When I went back by toward the end of my walk, the geese had moved to another bank.

And I still wished I had my camera.

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