Posts Tagged ‘Canada Geese’


Goose Spa

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Hooded Merganser pair

Hooded Merganser pair

The south branch of the South Nation river runs by the back door of Willow House. In the morning, I can lean on the kitchen counter and gaze out the window as I wait for my coffee to brew. The river is always interesting, but since the ice melted off, an assortment of waterfowl have been stopping by, causing me to rush for my camera. The above pair of Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus), shown near the beaver lodge, were very camera shy, swimming rapidly away or taking flight as soon as they caught sight of me.

Canada geese

Canada geese

This pair of Canada geese (Branta canadensis), who spent the afternoon enjoying the sun at the edge of the river, were more co-operative, though still wary.

Wood Ducks

Wood ducks

Three pairs of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) floated by and then paddled back up stream.

Mallard pair

Mallard pair

A Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and his missus spent a few hours grooming themselves on the shore.


Common Grackles

Passerines (songbirds) such as these Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) also use the river to bathe and drink.

At the end of the day, the river and its occupants settle down … or start their busy night’s activity … as the sun sets.
*Creedence Clearwater Revival: Lookin’ Out My Back Door


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Heading North


Last fall, I told Birdgirl “There are lots of geese flying over!”
Birdgirl said “uh-huh.”
I said, “No, really, LOTS! Hundreds of geese, thousands!”
Birdgirl said “uh-huh.”

It’s hard to be impressed with the idea of a flock of Canada Geese flying over, they have become so commonplace, fouling parks, wintering over, year-round residents. But these geese were amazing in their numbers, reassuring in their wild behaviour, heading south in streaming, honking Vs of beautiful, wild birds. It took a visit to convince Birdgirl. Once she had seen these huge flocks for herself, she understood my excitement. Here is her post about the geese.

Now the geese are returning. All afternoon on Sunday, and much of Monday, their voices could be heard, floating down to the earthbound. Many, most of the geese flocks are travelling very high up, sometimes appearing as little more than dots in the sky.
They have passed by, fifty, a hundred at a time, thousands flying north to greet another summer.


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A news report in November 2008, told of a farm in Colorado that, once they were finished with the harvest, opened their fields to anyone who wanted to pick up the leftover vegetables. Forty thousand people showed up! These modern gleaners, arriving by car, were a far cry from Jean Francois Millet’s famous gleaners, portrayed in 1857.

The Gleaners  Jean Francois Milet  1857

The Gleaners, by Jean Francois Milet, 1857

Here are some local gleaners, photographed in fields in the surrounding countryside:

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)

The Gleaners: Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)

American Crows (Corvus brachyrhychos)

The Gleaners: American Crows (Corvus brachyrhychos)

Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)

The Gleaners: Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)

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