Oct 9, 2014

Entangled goose, saved!

Yesterday, we received a call from Mark Parsins, from Riverside Lighting in Santa Cruz(Thank you!!!). He reported a Canada goose with fishing line wrapped around its leg near the San Lorenzo Park. WES' Goose Whisperer, Deanna Barth responded. Here's her account of the rescue:
I arrived at San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz this afternoon to look for the injured bird. I had been to this location before to rescue birds, but had never seen any geese.
As expected, I walked the area and saw several coots, gulls, ducks and pigeons, but no geese.  
The caller had explained the geese were seen between the park and the Soquel bridge, so I made my way toward the river, scanning the area in all directions, with no luck. Then I walked to the far end of the fence and looked beyond the overpass. There, in the grass, I could see geese. Yes! 
I went back to my vehicle and drove to the location. 
This gaggle of geese was far away from people, and it appeared as though they preferred it that way. This was not going to be easy.  
Birds that frequent public parks and ponds are accustomed to seeing people and are often used to being fed by them. While the habituation is not necessarily a good thing, it does make rescuing them much easier.
This particular group of geese seemed like “outsiders", to me. 
With a bag of grain in my hand, I slowly, nonchalantly, approached them. 
As soon as they saw me they were on full alert - I thought for sure they were going to take to the sky.   
I immediately sat down to make myself appear less threatening, and waited.
After a few minutes I began tossing grain. No reaction.   
5 minutes passed, 10 minutes, 15...
A half an hour passed with no interest from the geese. 
I rose from my seated position and, again, they quickly stretched their necks high and appeared anxious.   
I decided to try something new, something I didn’t expect to work, but , I thought - What do I have to lose?  
I could see gulls and pigeons in the park nearby. I tossed grain high up into the air to get their attention.  
Soon, I was surrounded by 50 birds pecking at the ground near my feet.
This commotion got the attention of the geese, and, as I had hoped, they began moving toward me. I was so excited!   
These geese were cautious, but all of them came over to eat - except for one. 
I had no doubt that was the injured goose I was looking for. 
I walked away from the group of birds and made my way along the river’s edge, positioning myself between the injured goose and the water. I applied enough pressure to cause it to stand to confirm the injury. Sure enough, that was "my" bird! 
I walked slowly behind it while tossing grain, encouraging it to my right side, but every time I got it within arm’s reach, another goose would lunge at it and chase it off. 
It took over an hour of dancing back and forth before I was finally able to position the bird right where I needed it - and then I grabbed it!
I loaded the big bird into a pet carrier and transported it to Native Animal Rescue. 
There, I held the goose while staff removed the line successfully. It will be treated with antibiotics and is expected to make a full recovery. I hope to return the goose to its group within a week or so.
UPDATE: 10-24-14

Thanks to the excellent care it received at NAR, the goose recovered from its injury and was returned to where it was captured.

Wild and free again!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YAY! Great capture! Wishing the goose well.