What appeared to be heading towards a happy ending for Cago, the solo Canada goose at Harlem Meer in Central Park since June, turned out not to be.
The gaggle of ten geese Cago attempted to assimilate himself into left the Meer before the weekend. It was simply not enough time for goose bonding or acceptance to take place.
Apparently, Harlem Meer was just a brief stopping point for the flock of ten. Or it could be all the human, dog and fishermen activity at the Meer was just too much for geese who had spent the summer molt at the much quieter, Jackie Onassis Reservoir.
In any event, Cago is once again on his own.
Part of me suspects that since Cago was still capable of flying at the end of June (when most geese were molting), he went through the molt late and even if he wanted to leave with the flock of ten, he was unable to. I am not convinced Cago has all his flight feathers yet.
Nevertheless, three more geese arrived at Harlem Meer over the weekend (also from the Reservoir, most likely).
But, Cago has mostly kept respectable distance from the three.
In fact, during his time at the Meer, Cago has grown quite comfortable with ducks and with humans.
I remember one evening seeing Cago standing just a few feet from a fishermen and he did not appear in the least bit anxious or nervous.
This past Saturday, Cago was nonchalantly sunning himself in the grass by the water, not more than ten feet from several families enjoying picnics.
It seems I am more worried for Cago than the loner Canada goose is for himself.
So, will Cago try to align himself with the three new geese at the Meer?
That all depends upon how long they stay.
But these days, most geese are happy to have their flight feathers back and tend not to hang in any one location too long. "Pond hopping" is the rule of the day for most geese now.
It appears Cago still has to wait for that one flock who sticks around long enough to accept a new goose into their clan.
But, the solitary goose is undaunted.
Cago has his duck friends and he is neither frightened nor nervous about all the human activities of Harlem Meer.
Patience is another virtue known well to Canada geese.
Cago has plenty of that.
He knows he too will have his flight feathers back shortly and there will be an eventual goose flock to take him in.
But, for now it is "Alone again, naturally." -- PCA