Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Growing Up, Loosy, Goosy

The six goslings at Turtle Pond are growing up fast, as their parents carefully and devotedly supervise.

The babies' tail and wing feathers are starting to grow in, as well as their colors are slowly beginning to show the shadings that will soon bring adulthood and define them as Canadian Geese.

Last week, I noted the entire family casually walking down one of the pedestrian paths -- just like a human family!

But, as it was evening and the birds were in open space and quite far from the water, the parent geese (especially, Papa!) were much more wary of my dogs. They, in fact, approached Tina and Chance in very formidable manner and I quickly had to back off with my dogs.

During the daytime and particularly when protected behind wire fencing in the park, the parent geese are much more relaxed and trusting. They will take treats from my hand, as even a couple of the babies do now.

But, it is most fun to watch the family on the water!

The babies stretch and flap their (still small) wings in preparation and training for flight.

Mommy and Daddy geese meanwhile (seemingly missing the freedom to fly) also stretch and flap their wings as if getting ready to take off somewhere.

Time in the water is also "playtime" for the birds, including the parents.

It's not unusual to see Mommy or Daddy joyfully doing flips, somersaults and dives in the water.

Perhaps they are vicariously re-living their gosling days with their fast-growing kids? -- PCA


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