Date: 7/11/17 9:33 am
From: Patti Reum via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Canada Geese behavior in Highland County
On Sunday morning, very early, I took my regular walk from New Hampden up
the Blue Grass Valley road towards Laurel Fork. Up ahead, I noticed a
rather large dead animal in the road. As I approached it, I saw that it
was a Canada Goose, probably hit by a car. I gently moved it off the road
so that it would not get mangled by traffic. Close by, in the mown grass,
there was another adult Canada, standing absolutely frozen and quiet. I
figured that this was probably the mate. I continued walking for about
another 1/2 hour and when I returned to this spot, there were 5 or 6 more
geese, probably the offspring of this pair. They were all standing frozen,
not uttering a sound, not the usually squawking and interaction of a family
of geese. It was a very moving moment where I realized these geese were
mourning the loss of one of their family. We hear about bird intelligence
and compassion- here was a first hand example!
I wasn't able to walk yesterday, but I did drive by later Monday
afternoon. All the geese were still congregated by the carcass, a full 35
hours later!
I have seen deer linger by their slain mates, but never as long as this
particular occasion with the geese. Made a big impression on me.

Patti Reum
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