April 27, 2023: The injured gosling

April 26, 2023: The goslings before the leap of faith.

We’re sorry to let everyone know that six didn’t make it. In reviewing the footage, it appears the gosling hit a branch on the way down and suffered a severe spinal injury. We can remove logs and dead wood from the bottom of the tree, but we can’t do much about large living limbs and we aren’t going to discourage nesting in N2B. Five out of six goslings survived the jump. This translates to a survival rate of 83%, which is higher than average. It is sad to lose one gosling – really sad! – but the geese we’re watching benefit as a whole from nesting on high.

The rest of the family has left the nest area, but new geese are looking at N2B. We’ve seen them in the nest, floating below the nest, promenading up the stream, and foraging on the grassy banks on each side of the creek. We think that these might be the same geese that challenged HD in N1: of course HD eventually got annoyed and chased them away. We’ll see what happens and if we can determine where the parents and goslings went after the leap of faith!

So often our birds make choices that seem incomprehensible to us, but they know their lives better than we do. For you, the broken-hearted nest watcher, I quote Kaeli Swift: “Please, rather than shutting down those deep feelings you have for wildlife…lean into them. Teach your friends and neighbors and children to feel those deep feelings. Because it’s from that space that we can do best by wildlife…”. Thank you so much for taking this journey with us. If you’d like to read Kaeli’s blog, follow this link: https://corvidresearch.blog/2022/06/07/a-letter-to-the-broken-hearted-nest-observer/