Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

August 30, 2013

Lonely goose survives on its own

Diane Raver
The Herald-Tribune

---- — Ed and Marge Hunter often have Canadian geese wandering on or near their property on Delaware Road.

However, “a few weeks ago, we found a dead goose under the swing,” Ed says. Then he also started noticing another one roaming around by itself.

He recalls, “There were three pairs that stayed over the winter, and there were about 19-20 young ones. They always stayed in groups and kept their families together. They would march down to the lake in single file with one adult in front and one in the rear. It was kind of fun to watch.

“Then the young ones must have been old enough to take off, and they left. But I saw that one lone one there. It didn’t appear to be crippled or hurt. It just appeared to be waiting on somebody.

“I asked a couple people, and they thought they (Canadian geese) mate for life.”

Adam Phelps, Indiana Department of Natural Resources water fowl biologist, Bloomington, revealed, “They do usually mate for life, but when they lose their mate, they remain independent for a while and may remate later. Those bonds are formed in late December or January when they may join another flock.” Until then the bird will stay by itself.

Hunter reveals, “Nature is very interesting .... knowing how there’s a bunch of geese here and they raise families and then you find one dead and everyone leaves but one.”

Now when you see a Canadian goose walking around by itself, you’ll know that it may just be grieving the loss of its mate. It’s not that it was pushed out of the flock.

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.