Posted by: karenevoss | July 27, 2014

Quacks and Honks

Observation of the world around us never ends and it ceases to amaze how life transforms. -K.E.Voss

Over the past few months (since Spring 2014), I’ve took the opportunity to observe ducks and geese around and in the fountain and pond at my job. Have you ever wondered about ducks and geese? How they swim, waddle, sleep, form a community, and protect their nests?

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I observed three goose families around campus. As the weeks passed, the families had formed a community. They parade march to the pond and swim together. Last week or so, the entire group headed down the hill to the pond in single file (all but three rebels) and stayed that way when they made it into the pond.

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They walk faster on land and cautiously on ice while sometimes slipping on ice. While swimming they remind me of paddle boats – one two, one two paddling the water, pushing through. A couple of times I’ve watched them sleep on land and water. Did you know geese sleep laying down, standing up, and on one leg (picture a flamingo).

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One incident of protectiveness appeared when mother goose (no not THAT mother goose) sat on her nest placed near the fountain in the middle of plants. The father perched itself on top of another campus building keeping watch. The next thing I heard came from mother goose as she honked continuously and loud enough for all to hear. Another goose started to encroach way too close to the nest. The intruder started to honk when all of a sudden, father goose saw the commotions and swept down chasing off the intruder. Father goose to the rescue!

 

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