Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Should Have Believed the Geese

(Photos:  Bozo at Harlem Meer.  The new mama mallard and ducklings at Turtle Pond apparently enduring harassment along with the geese.  Mama and Papa at Turtle Pond.)
For weeks I have been agonizing over what was happening with all the vanishing geese and mallards at Central Park.
Why have they gone?  Where will they go where they will NOT be harassed, shot at or gassed?
When calling Central Park Conservancy to ask if goose harassment was being used,  I was told that although there was a contract with Goosebusters, harassment had not been used at CP so far this year.   I was also told that the geese and ducks fly to the north this time of year due to "low food supplies in the spring."
Apparently, that was all a lie.
Yesterday, I met a birder and photographer at Turtle Pond.  He told me and some other people that he usually goes to the park in the very early morning -- as early as 5:30 AM to photograph birds. 
He also told me that he has seen the goose harassment several times this year, including as late at "two weeks ago."
The birder identified "Geese Relief" as the harassment company (though I was told by CP Conservancy that Geese Relief had been fired after the November incident at Harlem Meer).  The birder added that "one person usually comes around in a white truck and releases a Border Collie to chase and harass the geese in the water."
Although the birder thought the harassment pointless and cruel considering there are so few geese in the park, he also thought it was "necessary to protect people on planes."
I then told him that if such is the actuality, then every bird over 4 LBs who flies needs to be harassed and exterminated.
It is truly amazing how most of the public has been so easily brainwashed -- even those who supposedly love and photograph birds.
One is tempted to say, "First they came for the geese......and then the mallards....and then the egrets....and then the commorants.....and then the eagles."
But, I guess no one would get that.
But, apparently, I did not "get" that I was being lied to continuously, whether it be the issue of fishing at Turtle Pond or harassing the geese.  
It is really not a comforting thought that when one is calling public and park officials and governmental agencies to ask specific questions that such officials would have the audacity to LIE about them. (Although in all fairness, governmental agencies usually just pass the buck [and blame] to other governmental agencies.)
But, of course Prospect Park officials originally lied when asked last July 8th, "What happened to all the geese who were here?"   Park goers were told the geese had "flown to Jamaica Wildlife Refuge," despite the fact the geese were molting or raising young at the time -- i.e. could not fly.
I am upset with myself right now for being so naive and trusting despite all the crap and lies from the past.  
Perhaps I thought Central Park would not stoop to Prospect Park's level.
Perhaps I thought Central Park supporters were more demanding of forthrightness and transparency from the Central Park leadership.
Perhaps I thought NO park would send harassment trucks out to terrorize less than a dozen peaceful geese AND mallards on a lake or pond.
But, I have obviously been wrong on all counts.
And in thus being so naive and wrong, I have in turn, become a liar on this blog by quoting the nonsense I had been told -- Such as, "There are few geese and mallards in the park right now due to the low food supplies."
In looking back over these past couple of months, so much makes sense now that did not make sense before:
1-- The vanishing of virtually 90% of the geese and ducks who were present on CP lakes and ponds following migration returns from the south in early March and April.
2-- The nervous, skittish and "hiding" behavior of most of the remaining ducks and geese -- especially those at Harlem Meer.  -- Even Brad and Angelina are not their normal, confident selves during the daylight hours.  Angelina is typically hiding under the shrubs and plants near the Dana Center during the day time now.  Sometimes the two ducks are not even consistently together now except at night.
3--  MOST of all, the "dog-hating" behavior of Bozo, one of the two remaining geese at Harlem Meer.
Now, I understand why this one brave goose is so scared and so hostile towards dogs.
And yet, Bozo has chosen, along with his courageous mate, Bonnie to take a stand and face the enemy head on.
"We shall not be moved."
So too, have Papa and Mama goose bravely faced the harassment at Turtle Pond, but endured.
This, despite their eggs being destroyed several weeks ago by what surely is, the "goose harassment program" but instead was blamed on "raccoons."
Lie about the realities and then blame the deaths or disappearances  on "nature" or other animals.
(As if raccoons didn't have enough bounties on their own heads to be accused of egg and gosling destruction in our parks.)
There is currently a mama mallard at Turtle Pond with six recently hatched ducklings.
Will they be subject to the harassment, too?
Apparently, so.  They tend to hang out near Mama and Papa goose.
But, Mama and Papa, along with Bozo and Bonnie have chosen to take their stand.  They have probably seen this horror movie a thousand times before.
"We shall not be moved."
But, what will happen to their grown goslings from last year and the other few dozen geese who have been endlessly chased and harassed from Central Park?
USDA will be sending out their killing squads in just a few weeks.
And we still have not been told where they are going. 
In looking back over these past troubling months, my biggest mistake was believing the nonsense I was told instead of the TRUTH I was SEEING.
I should have believed the geese.   -- PCA

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