Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday with the Ducks, Geese and Swan

Romantic goose pair, Harlem Meer
Connie and Conner, off for romantic swim.
Mallard drake, smitten with and protective of Honker.
Gander protecting while mate grazes.
Hector, in thoughts of his lost love.
A Journey of Religion

Below is a touching and inspiring video of one priest's journey to veganism.

Perhaps befitting for Easter Sunday.

I am also pleased with the new Pope selection.   According to the Catholic faith, St. Francis is the patron saint of animals.   Additionally, the new Pope has already spoken out about the need to protect the ecology and environment.

Perhaps there is still hope for Catholicism. I have not yet given up on it -- though still find my personal peace with the geese, ducks and other animals, rather than in a church.

I guess we all find our own path.

Easter Sunday at the Meer

While millions of others donned Easter finery today and attended church services, I sported jeans and sneakers and journeyed to Harlem Meer in Central Park shortly following dawn this morning.

Most of the geese and mallards are gone, though some still remain (mostly ducks).

In past years, I thought these departures due to the changes and migrations of spring.

But, since noting the Geese Police van last week in Central Park, I am now not so sure.

That is another thing disconcerting about goose "harassment" when it is conducted.

One has no way of knowing what is normal and natural and what is not.

I am glad now that I had opportunity to personally witness scores of migratory Canada geese taking off from the Jackie Onassis Reservoir some weeks back to begin their arduous journeys north to Canada. 

It was an incredibly beautiful, natural and wondrous experience.  By far the best in Central Park over the past year.

And,  I know those particular geese were not harassed.

But, in terms of fluctuating goose numbers over the past few weeks, I don't know whether they were migratory geese stopping briefly for rest and then moving on or they were resident geese who were harassed out of the park.

This morning, I saw only two pairs of geese at the Meer and
one pair at the Reservoir.

Numbers may continue to fluctuate as I understand from the video below and others, many geese are still in the midst of late migrations (due to a cold and snowy March throughout the mid west and north east)      

I have to hope that any late migrating geese who briefly stop to rest in Central Park will not be harassed, but such hope is probably for naught.

New York City's "war on Canada geese" is only beginning.

Love in Bloom For Most, But Not All.

For the ducks and geese still in Central Park, "romance" is in full bloom.

It is common now to see pairs of mallards romantically strolling in the grasses around the Meer in the evening like little humans.   Geese are also in pairs, the ganders of which stake out and protect territory and eagerly chase off any other geese.

The four domestic ducks (Cochise, Connor, Carol and Connie) can sometimes also be seen dividing into pairs in recent days.

But, perhaps the biggest surprise is that both, Honker and Wiggly (the two female Kacki Campbell ducks) have taken up with mallard drakes!

Wiggly of course is no surprise because since January, she has been followed around devotedly, by a drake I named "Romeo."  

But, over the past week or so, Honker too, has attracted the affections of a mallard drake.

I am not sure what to make of these "birds of unlike feather" taking up together, but both Wiggly and Honker appear to enjoy the protection and guarding that the mallard drakes provide.

It appeared this morning that there were more mallard drakes at the Meer than hens so perhaps this sexual imbalance helps to explain two drakes looking outside of their gene pool for "romance" (though this was not true in January and thus does not explain the love sick Romeo).

The two drakes even chase off other ducks while wooing their "exotic" sweethearts, Wiggly and Honker.  

Meanwhile, the long widowed swan, Hector, is still without mate or flock.

Ah, that only some lonely, female swan would magically fly into the Meer this Easter.

A handsome swan awaits.   -- PCA


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