Monday, May 8, 2017

The Avian Word is Out -- "New Goose Babies!"

"No photos please!" As a tiny ball of yellow fluff peeked out from under her wing last night, Greta, tried in vain to find privacy to hatch her new babies. But word was already out to mallards, starlings and even other geese that the season's first goslings were well on their way to entering the world!  It was going to be a long and busy night for Mama Greta and her devoted mate Hansel. -- The first family photos will have to wait until tomorrow. :)
WE HAVE BABIES!  On a chilly and blustery night, Greta was busy hatching her goslings at the Central Park Reservoir. Not all of her eggs had yet hatched when the photo was taken. But at least one precocious baby was eager to see the world.  "Not yet!" admonished the ever protective mama as she busily worked to keep him and at least one or two other hatchlings under her wing. It was going to be a long, chilly night and the safe place for the babies was to be gently tucked under their mama's warm, comforting breast until all eggs hatched and the morning sun peeked over the horizon.

I knew something was up yesterday evening when arriving to the Reservoir and noting Hansel, the protective mate of Greta nervously staying close to the nest area. In addition to Hansel, several nosy mallards and starlings also hovered around Greta's nest causing much annoyance to both parents. One particularly curious female mallard appeared to be offering midwife services to the then quite peaked Greta who let her know in no uncertain terms, she did not need any help delivering her babies!

And poor Hansel had to take time from his anxious moments of joyous anticipation to chase away other busybody mallards wandering too close in the water.  All this as a flock of geese excitedly honked and arrived to the Reservoir from the north end of the park!

It seems word had somehow gotten out in the bird world of Central Park that the impending birth of the season's first goslings was well underway! It was going to be a very harried night for both, Mama Greta and Papa Hansel.

Because of all the avian commotion and obvious stress to the new parents, I dared to only take one flash photo. I could tell from Greta's direct stare that she was none too pleased to see me as is usually the case. This was the one night she wanted privacy and it was in short supply.

I at least had the decency to eventually leave. But I could tell those nosy mallards weren't going anywhere no matter how hard Hansel chased them or Greta stretched her neck out.

Then there was that flock of excited, noisy geese who had just flown in!

As I finally left the Reservoir last night, the gaggle of about a dozen geese in the distance were quickly swimming east towards the then-happening blessed event.

I could only wonder if they remembered to bring the champagne and cigars?  -- PCA


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