Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wild Goose Chase

I encountered something that was a little amusing today. I was out at my favorite fishing platform watching the water. At first, there didn't seem much happening out there, because the birds were kind of quiet. I didn't really care. Like I said yesterday, I just like watching the water.

As I got to the edge of the platform towards the water, two geese came swimming over from their nesting area. The first one was really swimming fast, and it turned right towards me! This was no mistake. That goose was coming because I was there! Look at the picture at the top. You can see by the water behind it that it was moving fast.

It must have wanted me to give it something to eat. It obviously knows what humans are for. You know, whenever something like this happens I feel bad because I have nothing for them. I sometimes consider taking some crackers along for them, but the rules in these places say not to feed the animals. They're not really that hungry anyway. These geese have plenty.

As the pair of geese got closer I noticed that there was a third goose lurking in the background. It was swimming very slowly past, and it was watching the closer two. I wasn't paying much attention to it, because I wanted to see what the closest goose was going to do.

But then, just as they got close to me, the second goose in the pair all of a sudden turned and flew straight at the lurking third goose! With a lot of squawking and the sound of flapping wings, the third goose took flight with the second right behind it. It was a goose chase!

As I watched all of this happening, I started thinking that the first goose must be a female goose. The second one in the pair must be it's male mate, and it obviously was chasing the third, which was another male, to protect the female from it. That third goose wanted to steal it's mate. Goose fight!!!

Well, the chase turned out to be very short. Once the male of the pair showed that it wasn't going to take anything from that third one, the third goose decided that it should respect the other's territory and leave. They didn't really need to fight. It was decided in the best and easiest way.

While all of this was happening the female turned towards them to see what was happening. As soon as it was over she turned right back towards me, and resumed showing me that she was available for a little snack. Again, I felt kind of bad that I had nothing.

Al I could do was stand there and watch her. Of course, I also took several pictures. Even though I couldn't pay her for modeling my photos, she swam patiently close to me so I could get as many as I wanted. Then right before I was finished, she looked up at me and said, "HONK!!!"

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  1. Oh..I would be so tempted to feed them even though it is not allowed.
    When we feed them on our lake, they come back later in the year and show off their brood of babies to us. Of course, then we feed the entire family!
    It is such fun!!!

  2. The Retired One - I have been very tempted to feed them to, and I'm probably going to do that. I actually had some crackers for them the last time I went, but I forgot to take them along. I just don't want the geese to start getting too close to anyone else, and cause a mistaken attack.

  3. Feedng maybe a misleading signal to them. They will come back again and if they never get what they want, they will overpower you and lock you again.

  4. Yup, a goose chase indeed!! I too feel bad when geese come to me for food. I always want to give them bread, but won't unless it's winter and then I sneak some to them when no one is looking. ;o)

  5. Rainfield - Maybe you're right. I don't want another war to happen, like the one with the squirrels. I already have enough animals mad at me, but the geese still like me. :)

    Kallen305 - That's probably the best way to do it. These geese get plenty to eat right now. Maybe I'll plan on sneaking them some food next winter.

  6. This is certainly the time of year to see lots of antics by the waterfowl. Crackers and bread have almost no nutritional value to them, so feeding them that sort of food is actually damaging.

  7. Sharkbytes - That's actually part of the reason I haven't tried to give them anything. Not because I know what they can or can't eat, but because I don't know. I also don't know what they would do around other people if they started expecting little treats. I don't want somebody claiming one of the geese attacked them because of a misunderstanding.