Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Family Affair

Bon Bon Pond had company this past Wednesday.  Over 100 Canada Geese stopped in for the day.  What a sight!  And the sounds! 

On Monday, as earlier reported,  two of my three nesting families took flight.  No doubt their destination/mission was to visit the relatives and meet their new babies. 

Two days later, every goose in the greater Pine Point/May Township wetlands area was back at Bon Bon Pond.  I am constantly amazed and awed by the social structure of the species Branta canadensis.  Males and females mate for life and remain as devoted to their offspring as they are to each other.  But beyond that, the importance of extended family is also evident.  These birds are all related and stay in close contact even though they live on different waterways.

This summer’s family reunion was a joy to observe.  The goose gestures and communications told me the flock was sharing its adventures over the past few months.  I swear, every goose had something to declare! 

The flock en masse was also anxious to check out all the home improvement projects around the Pond and spent a good share of their day leisurely strolling from the bank to the gazebo area, across the driveway and into the front yard.  Geese!  Geese!  Everywhere!

The birds and turkeys appeared flabbergasted at the sight of so many geese, as did the human neighbors!  Down by the water, traffic slowed to a crawl.

After a full day of corn and conversation, the individual families started to leave around 6:30 p.m. I happened to be in my office glancing out the window when one flock took off from the water.  Somehow, a young gosling, busy exploring around the gazebo, had gotten separated from his family.  When he saw them in the air he panicked.  The little fellow began running and flapping his wings.  He ran across the driveway and thru the front yard.  I held by breath as he approached the retaining wall.  It was now or never!  Trundling from side to side he began liftoff just as he went over the embankment.  Takeoff was more than a bit awkward—yikes he nearly clipped the pasture fence and the backyard evergreens--but the youngster finally found his rhythm and up, up, up he sailed.  Yet another adventure to share at the next family reunion.

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