Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live with a Franciscan focus.
(And one of these days I'll fix the template and add a Search feature. :-P)

19 July 2007

More adventures in goose-wrangling (Part I) 

Have you ever found yourself half-awake 4:15 a.m. in a car with two ginormous plastic tubs filled with 10 peeping baby Canada Geese and wondered, "Boy, how did this happen?"

Really? You, too? Well, here's our story:

It all started with Dax, a Canada Goose on our property. We noticed that he had a severe limp and completely avoided putting any weight on one leg, frequently plopping down when his good leg was too tired. As he was in obvious pain, we decided that some help was called for.

We do have a mite o' experience in aiding needy waterfowl, as evidenced by last year's goose-wrangling adventure with Geordi, so we called the same wildlife rehab that helped us before. They said to watch Dax for a few days, and if the limping persisted, they'd treat him if we caught and brought him in.

After a few days of careful scrutiny, it was clear that Dax's limp was still mighty bad, so we attempted to do the old Blanket-And-Box-Routine. However, it didn't go as well this time. Last year, when we tried to catch Geordi, he was far enough away from the water that we were able to eventually wear him out and grab him. But Dax was mere steps away from the water and simply jumped in and swam away from us when we tried to nab him.

So, we went back to more watching and plotting. Happily, though, his bum leg finally began showing signs of improvement, and one day, Husband Mike completely lost track of him. Thinking that perhaps Dax went across the street to another popular Goose Hangout, Husband Mike went over there to see if Dax was around.

No Dax there, but Husband Mike did find the aforementioned 10 baby geese, who were all stuck in a pathetically-conceived drainage pond. It was constructed in such a way that while adult waterfowl could easily fly/jump in and out, their flightless offspring -- once in the area -- were stuck. Two goose families had led their kids down into the pond, but then couldn't lead 'em back out again.

And as this was a newly-dug drainage pond, there wasn't much in the way of edible vegetation available. The four parents could fly up and out to munch on grass, but their kiddos were stuck behind.

Now what?

Back on the phone to the wildlife place, who said (duh) the youngsters were pretty much stuck in the pond until their flight feathers grew in ... about 3 months later. In the meantime, they were stuck in a shadeless, foodless prison. And their parents kept leaving them for longer and longer stretches of time so they could eat, making them highly vulnerable to predators.

Then the worst happened -- both sets of parents completely abandoned the kids (who by now were looking raggedy and who weren't growing like they should). And that meant the situation had just turned deadly -- baby geese don't produce the necessary water-proofing oils needed to stay afloat, but rely on having that rubbed on via close contact with Mom- and Dadgoose. No Mom or Dad = No Waterproofing Oils = Eventual Death by Drowning.

Another call to the wildlife place. If we could catch and bring in the babies, would they take 'em? Yep! You catch 'em, we'll care for 'em.

Thus, the plan to rescue 10 baby geese was kicked into gear.

Update: Part II is here.

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Blogger Bego said...

am i the only one that hears the Mission: Impossible theme cued up to this blog?

20 July, 2007 11:47  

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