Monday, June 4, 2012

A Goose That Couldn't Swim

Yesterday they came and took him away.   His was the last egg to hatch and therefore he was the smallest of the 4 little goslings.

At first all seemed well, safe and comfortable within their little nest, mama goose hovering above them and papa goose not far away. But soon we noticed that the littlest one seemed ... well different than it's siblings. While the others grazed happily, the littlest squatted in one place and nibbled at the grass seeds closest to him, always trying to keep his long, gosling neck tucked close to his small, fluffy body.

My husband and I soon realized the tiny runt had a problem -- our neighbors realized this too. We watched as the baby geese grew and the 3 older goslings soon sprouted tail feathers, followed by wing feathers and then the characteristic facial markings so familiar to Canadian Geese. Tiny Runt remained much smaller and still covered in it's fluff - not a sign of a tail feather in sight. Then one day I noticed he had great difficulty standing up. He had been resting, in his typical squatting position, on a slope of our neighbor's front yard.  As he stood, he wobbled, lost his balance and almost tumbled down the slope. Later, my husband told me he had witnessed the tiny gosling as it came close to drowning. It had been alone in our neighbors pond and suddenly became distressed and unable to stay afloat . . . a very strange thing for a water-bird. Suddenly, trying to help him, the Little Runt's parents and all his siblings were at his side. Miraculously they managed to get the wee one to shore. Needless to say he no longer held any desire to paddle about or enjoy the freedom of floating in the cool water of their pond.  My heart ached for the little fellow. 

Yesterday our neighbors called wildlife management and they sent someone out to check on the small gosling. The prognosis was the baby had a piece of his neck missing and it's thought that perhaps a hawk may have attacked the little fellow. Carefully the fluffy invalid was transported from his familiar pond to a wildlife veterinarian, we were all assured that they would do everything they could to help the little gosling and, hopefully, return him to his family. In the meantime momma goose has been distraught and seems to be constantly looking for her smallest baby. We pray he will be saved and returned before the summer is over.


  1. Sorry to hear the littlest Gosling is in distress, hopefully he will be back with his family soon :)

    Thanks for all the comments A. :)

    I know blogger has been a pain over the past few weeks, I am now trying to juggle Chrome and IE on my computer which is way too old to have them open at the same time with any photo program open, oh well, time for a new computer I think :(

    Have a lovely day, cheers, T. :)

  2. Sad. :-( Poor little guy. I hope they can heal him up quick and get him back with his family.

    We had something sad happen to our little hummingbirds this year too. We have had a nest in our front tree in the entry. This year the 2 little eggs hatched, and we kept checking on them. I was so excited. They were so tiny, about the size of jelly beans. We kept checking daily and they kept growing and then about 2 weeks in my son came inside to tell me the nest was gone!!


    Sure enough, a small piece of it remained on the front grass but no birds to be seen. I have a feeling a neighborhood cat got to them. The mama bird was flying around frantically for a few days, buzzing us by the front door. I felt so bad.

    I hope your birds have a much happier ending than ours did.

    Glad to see you around - and yes, can't Blogger just be a total pain in the @#$%!! ;-)

  3. Ahh... I am glad you had someone to call.

  4. Awwww poor little guy - nature is indeed cruel - poor mama is probably wondering where he is : (

  5. that is so sad poor little guy. I wish I could fix everything so everything. poor baby xx

  6. My biggest comment here is "awwww".

    Nature cares not for the little fellow, just the continuation of the species; but I still say "awww".


  7. So, so sad. Hopefully, they will do everything they can for him.

  8. Mother nature has her way of taking care of things, and she is knows best. Hopefully the little one can return to his/her family.

  9. What a sad story. I hope they are able to help him and he can be returned to his family. Keep us posted.
    Everyday Inspired

  10. Poor thing. And poor mama goose. I hope he is able to return to his family.


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