Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Warrior Returned to Boat Lake and the Migratory Geese Embark on Their Long Journey North


Warrior surveying the territory after release back to Boat lake.
Warrior "calling" to his family.
Reunion?
Checking out the area to note any changes.
Remaining migratory geese still at Reservoir. But, in a couple of weeks, they too shall be gone. Long journey awaits.
 
Last week, Liliana and I picked up Warrior from the Wild Bird Fund where the wounded gander had spent 18 days. Warrior's infected neck wound was cleaned and he was put on antibiotics. With good care and food, he also gained more than a pound.
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With veterinary clearance, Warrior was ready to be returned to the Boat Lake in Central Park.
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The question was, would his mate and four fledglings be there?
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At the time of rescue, Warrior was alone on a frozen lake. He apparently was unable to fly out with the family when either harassed by Geese Police or electing to fly to the nearby Reservoir which was still open water and where virtually all of the migratory geese congregated.
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Two days following Warrior's rescue, temperature in NYC dropped to minus one degree. It was unlikely he would have survived such harsh condition being in an already compromised state and alone.
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But, the temperatures quickly rebounded and eventually the ice thawed at the Boat lake.
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And over the past few weeks, some geese returned to the lake.
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But, Liliana and I had no idea if among the 20 or so geese, was the family.
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Nor would releasing Warrior necessarily answer the question immediately.
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As matters turned out, Warrior began to loudly honk as soon as he was released from the box and into the water.
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A number of similarly honking geese curiously ambled over to check out the new arrival.
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Warrior chased some and appeared to recognize and accept one group.
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Was this Warrior's mate and kids?
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At first, it appeared to be as Warrior even gently nicked at one of the youngsters in what seemed parental manner.
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But, then after a few minutes, he started to swim away from the group and far out on the water.
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Liliana and I didn't know what to make of the scene we were witnessing.
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Perhaps after being away for more than two weeks, Warrior needed to once again familiarize himself with the territory and note any changes to it?  Perhaps he needed some time alone to readapt and evaluate? 
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It was hard to know for sure.
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A few days later, however, Liliana called me to report that Warrior was indeed reunited with the family.
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Though there is some question if Warrior can fly normally as he seems to have lost some feathers over his recuperation period, the good news is that he is basically healthy and back with Princess and the kids.
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Whether the family elects to stay at the Boat Lake through the spring nesting period remains to be seen. Last year, Warrior and Princess nested in some location outside of Central Park resulting in the successful hatching of four goslings. The family did not return to the Boat Lake until the fall.
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Truth is, that had they nested at the Boat Lake, the eggs would have been destroyed as nearly all are in Central Park.
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In other goose news, the migratory geese who had been wintering at the Reservoir since December have begun their spring journeys north.
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At its highest point, goose numbers were nearly 300 over the past few months. But, they have begun to seriously dwindle, especially over the past week.
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Last night, I was barely able to discern 50 geese around the entire Reservoir.
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I anticipate that virtually all of these will be gone by the middle of the month.
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However, the Reservoir should not be entirely devoid of geese.
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Hopefully to see Hansel and Greta with their four fledglings then and the return also, of John and Mary.
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Stay tuned.  -- PCA
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                                               *********

5 comments:

Mary Castrovilla said...

warrior reunited with family...WoW

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