Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Danny Boy -- A Goose Without a Gaggle


(Photos:  Danny Boy enjoying the children at Harlem Meer yesterday. )

It appears that "Danny" is back -- or still at Harlem Meer.

Danny is a "loner" goose who I saw at the Meer a couple of times about three weeks ago.

I didn't see him for a while, but now he is apparently back again. 

I have seen Danny twice within the past couple of days, typically hanging out with the mallards towards the east side of the lake.

Of course, I don't know for sure the one goose being seen now is actually Danny or still, just another "lone goose."

I am merely guessing because the behavior appears identical to the goose seen three weeks ago. 

Danny is a very human-oriented goose and has no problems walking up to people and even small children.

But, as far as guessing or stating why this goose is alone without other geese around, it is impossible to do so.  The phenomenon of "loner geese" is a new one and hard to speculate upon.   But, apparently it is not unique to Central Park. 

Another woman recently wrote about seeing a "loner" goose at a site near Westchester shortly following a USDA roundup in which more than 100 geese were rounded up and killed from the area.

While no goose roundups have occurred in Central Park, they have occurred elsewhere around the city this summer.

So, while there may be other explanations for Danny being without his flock, (such as separation in fight), the possibility that his family has been killed is certainly among the possible and likely explanations.

Since there are currently no other geese in Central Park at this time, it is quite possible that Danny might have to wait until December to find other geese to hang with. At that time, migratory geese can be expected to arrive in Central Park.

There is also the possibility that other geese might arrive sooner.

According this outdoor sports column, many resident geese respond to the pressures of hunting by fleeing to urban areas and parks when the hunting season gets underway.

Early hunting season on Canada geese begins in New York State in September. 

Perhaps Danny won't have to wait so long after all.

It is quite amazing that, losing so much of their natural habitat and being shot in existing areas, so many geese attempt to escape and take up residence in urban parks, golf courses or even shopping malls or private lawns.

But, then they are deemed "nuisance" in those areas and typically rounded up and killed and/or harassed out.

It seems there are no safe or welcomed areas for the geese to go anymore.

But, at least for the moment, Danny is seeming to adjust to his unusual situation of being a "loner" goose in Central Park.

And at least yesterday, there were a couple of children and one adult who very much enjoyed Danny being at Harlem Meer.  -- PCA


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