Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rationalization of Wildlife Killings and Goose Family Orders (Return of Jessie)

Return of Jessie, the "loner goose." - Brave little goose whose choices aren't always understandable, but apparently necessary for her survival.
"Dad" -- Lead gander of Jessie's adopted family. So intimidating and bossy that even Hector the swan keeps respectful distance.
"We Don't Condone.  We Just Do."

Fox News has apparently dug its heels into USDA "Wildlife Services."

Today, there is a follow-up to yesterday's excellent report, this one dealing specifically with WS's killing of pets (also, a must read to share with others):

It is interesting that in nearly all of these articles, WS claims that it "does not condone animal cruelty" and usually attributes reports of brutality to isolated incidents.

One imagines that if interviewing murderers in prison, most would say they "do not condone murder," but did it anyway.

A good example of that is murder defendant, Jodi Arias who, when recently testifying on the stand claims she is morally opposed to violence and murder.  But, she has admitted to violently murdering her ex-boyfriend (by shooting and multiple stabbing) supposedly in "self defense."

Wildlife Services cannot cry supposed self defense in its systematic brutality and killing of millions of animals a year, including family pets.

But, it can always use euphemisms to cover up those crimes (such as "euthanasia") and attribute any documented abuses to isolated incidents, exaggeration or over zealous reporters.

And of course they can always claim they "don't condone animal cruelty."

No, like Arias and other killers, they just do it.

It seems that what we "don't condone" in others is somehow acceptable to ourselves provided we can conjure up enough rationalizations and euphemisms for it.

Family Orders

The migratory geese who spent a good part of the winter at Central Park's Reservoir have departed both, the Reservoir and the North Meadow where many had been "fueling up" on grass just prior to their long journeys north.

Things are eerily quiet now that migratory geese have left these two locations, though there is still plenty of waterfowl activity at Harlem Meer.

Although migratory geese have seemed to also leave the Meer,  two families of geese remain, both of whom can be presumed to be resident NYC geese.

One of these is the "bad family" that Jessie (the loner goose present a few months ago), joined up with in January.  (I call them the "bad family" because the lead gander is particularly intimidating and bossy to both, his own family and other geese and his presumed "kids" are taking up much of the same behavior.)

It was a pleasant surprise to note Jessie's return earlier in the week with her "adopted" family, though her status appears to be no higher than when she left with them two months ago.

Jessie is still a low status, "tag along" goose who though while traveling with the family and staying in their general vicinity, is careful to always keep respectful distance.

Two nights in a row, I found Jessie roosting alone on the same familiar embankment while the rest of the gaggle was in the water nearby.

When all the geese gathered on the embankment to grab some cracked corn, Jessie was chased and pecked by several members of the gaggle, especially the temperamental "dad."  At least several times she was sent unceremoniously back into the water.  But, Jessie always returned.  (Dad is also giving his own kids the "bums rush" so to speak, but that is normal paternal behavior in spring when ganders want alone time with their mates.)

I have long been puzzled why Jessie chose to tag along with this family (who appear quiet cantankerous and unwelcoming) as opposed to the more peaceful and laid back family of seven geese who, like this group, also have bounced back between the Meer and the Reservoir over the winter.

I guess Jessie feels particularly "safe" and protected around the mean family, though there is obviously a price for that. 

She is the odd goose out.

Meanwhile, the other geese (who I am guessing to be "the peaceful seven") mostly stay to the far south east side of the lake.  One supposes if they dare to venture over some invisible line in the water, they catch hell from Jessie's adopted family -- though certainly not from poor Jessie herself.  She is extremely yielding and timid, though able to hold her own.

I am guessing the roughly 15 geese at the Meer now will only be there for the next few weeks -- or until the weather warms and fishermen (and other human activites) return to the Meer in force.

Weather for March is still a bit chilly in New York City and below normal temperatures.

But, for the geese and ducks of our parks, that is actually a good thing.

Peace (for the moment) still reigns. -- PCA



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