Monday, June 29, 2015

Reservoir Goslings Survive their First Month!


Happy one-month birthday to our precious goslings at Central Park Reservoir.  So much riding on those tiny wings.
The parents, Hansel and Greta with their growing babies last night. Note the tiny wings beginning to develop.
 
Yesterday (June 28th), the four goslings at the Central Park Reservoir reached their one-month-old birthday.
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It is great relief to see all four of the little ones make it through their first few challenging weeks of life.
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So far, the growth and behavior of the hatchlings appears more normal than the three doomed goslings these same parents hatched last year.
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The three hatched last year failed to grow and thrive normally. All perished within two months. Though it was impossible to know with certainty, the reason for such misfortune to the hatchlings, egg addling was the likely culprit.
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By contrast, the current babies are now the size of mallards, with long necks and big feet. They are starting to sprout little wings and darken in color. They are able to run and swim fast and appear hardly.
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Perhaps most significantly, the parents appear more protective and engaged with these four than their previous three. It seems on some level, Hansel and Greta "knew" their prior goslings weren't going to make it. While always remaining devoted and attentive to their offspring of last year, there was also a kind of detachment -- as if resigned to unfortunate fate.
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While still too early to draw conclusions or make predictions of survival for the current crop of goslings, I remain guardedly optimistic. Sadly, there are no other goslings in Central Park to compare these four to in terms of growth and development.
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We should know more in about a month when the goslings then should nearly be full size.  Understanding is that they should be ready to fly by three months. But, there is a long way for these goslings to go to reach that goal and critical development stage.  
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For now, to observe and hope and simply take things one day at a time.
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Each time I see them there is always that sweet sigh -- and smile of relief. 
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Reality is, that the future of Central Park resident geese rides on the tiny wings of these four precious little lives. -- PCA
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