Thursday, June 15, 2017
This was just so sad. A very small gosling had slipped through a grate across a stream, leading to a waterfall that made it impossible for it to get back to its parents. They were honking frantically as they tried to get to it. A man climbed over the side of the bridge to rescue the gosling, with predictable results: it ran into the brush and disappeared. Now that I think about it, an adult might have been able to rescue it by either picking it up in its beak and flying away, or shuffling it onto its back. I've seen newly-hatched goslings ride their parents' backs before.
It doesn't seem likely this ended well, but as usual, it probably had more of a chance if we humans had stayed out of it.
Not interfering is so hard. I saw a lone duckling running around frantically a few weeks ago, peeping and peeping as if trying to find its mother and siblings. The other day I saw a tiny gosling in a group of half-grown ones, which were hissing at it and poking it savagely. I tried to get it out of there, only to have it run into the woods. My feeling was: if I can only get it into the water, it will have a better chance against predators. But the water was only a few feet away, and it seemed to prefer the shelter of a flock (even a hostile one). I've seen this a few times before, and I don't want to think too much about the inevitable conclusion. Mother Nature can be such a bitch.