June 19, 2013
Written by Jack Sanders
Friday, 30 April 2010 13:29
A mystery has been solved.
Last December and again this spring, we had received reports of a Greater White-fronted Goose that was hanging around two Mute Swans on Lake Kitchawan on the Lewisboro-Pound Ridge border. This is a rare species for this area and, in turns out, was not what was seen, says Emily Erickson.
Emily and her husband, Jon, moved to Cross Pond Road last May and found four domestic geese on their property. They named the goose in question “Daphne.” The bird is a domestic derivative of the Graylag Goose, a Eurasian species, and in this country, is frequently mistaken for a Greater White-fronted Goose.
“The previous homeowner told us the four domestic geese showed up on the property in February 2009 and she said someone must have dropped them off here. We enjoyed visiting with these geese daily and noted that they enjoyed eating cracked corn.”
One goose eventually disappeared. In addition, a male white goose and a ‘Chinese Swan’ goose had “angel wing,” a disease related to poor nutrition. Neither could fly.
As the fall approached, the Ericksons “became concerned that the white goose and the Chinese Swan goose may succumb to a predator as the smaller white goose did, so we searched for a shelter for all three geese.”
After a couple of months searching, an animal farm sanctuary in Woodstock, N.Y., agreed to catch the geese and take them to their sanctuary. “The white goose and the Chinese Swan goose were easily caught since they could not fly, but Daphne was never caught, even after three separate attempts,” Emily said.
“In December 2009, a local resident stopped by our house as he had spotted Daphne on our property. He indicated that he had purchased the four domestic geese and they must have wandered from his property onto ours. He was concerned that Daphne may be starving during the cold winter months; however, we had been feeding Daphne every day to prevent her starvation. We put straw in our shed to entice her to get out of the cold, but she preferred to waddle up the stairs of our back deck and huddle in the corner near the house away from the cold.
“She would frequently knock on the sliding glass door with her beak to let me know she needed food and fresh water.”
After the Mute Swans’ five cygnets grew up moved away last year, Daphne started hanging around the parent swans, as reported by our correspondent Judy Wald. “The swans did not like Daphne hanging around their nest this spring and fought Daphne to keep her away. The swans finally left their nest with two eggs unattended and Daphne has not been hanging around the swans recently. Instead, she has taking to visiting us again on a daily basis.”
Birding By Ear, how and why birds vocalize, learn their sounds, Saturday, May 1, 9:30 to noon, $12/adult, Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, RSVP 203-869-5272 x230, Greenwich.audubon.org
Supporting Migratory Songbirds through Rehabilitation, Reducing Negative Impacts, and Birdscaping, with Jayne Amico, a rehabilitator, Wednesday, May 5, 11:30 to 12:30, $12, New Pond Farm, 101 Marchant Rd, Redding, 203-938-2117, newpondfarm.org.
Birding in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, field trip with expert, Saturday, May 8, meet at 6 a.m. at the Millwood A&P for carpooling, Saw Mill River Audubon, office@ sawmillriveraudubon.org, 914-666-6503.
International Migratory Bird Day, Saturday, May 8, 6:30 to 8: Early Morning Bird Walk; 8 to 9:30: Annual Birders Breakfast; 9:30 to 5: Raptor Science Conference “Monitoring and Managing Raptor Populations - Forging a Collaboration of Professional & Volunteer Conservationists,” Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, RSVP 203-869-5272 x226, Greenwich.audubon.org
Spring Migration at Doodletown and Iona Island, field trip, Hooded and Cerulean Warblers, etc. Saturday, May 15, 6 a.m. $5, Saw Mill River Audubon, office @ sawmillriveraudubon.org, 914-666-6503.
Spring bird walk, with author-naturalist Ed Kanze, Saturday, May 22, 7:30 a.m., free, meet at parking lot near nature center at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Route 124, Cross River, N.Y.
Annual Birdathon, count as many different bird species as possible in 24 hours while raising funds for Bedford Audubon Society’s Scholarship Fund, science and education projects - see bedfordaudubon.org, Saturday, May 22, 5 p.m. to Sunday, May 23, 5 p.m. 914-232-1999.
Spring migration bird walks, rain or shine, at 7 a.m., about 90 minutes, Wednesdays May 5, 12, 19, 26, at Fairchild Garden, meet in parking area on North Porchuck Road; Saturdays, May 1, 15, 22, at Audubon Greenwich, meet in main parking area; Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, 203- 869-5272 x230, Greenwich.audubon.org.
First Sundays, birding at Greenwich Point with Meredith Sampson of Wild Wings, and other guides, 203-637-9822.
Copyright 2010 by Jack Sanders. Send sightings or comments to: jackfsanders [at sign] yahoo.com, or to Bird Notes, Box 1019, Ridgefield, CT 06877; or call 203-438-1183, extension BIRD (2473), and leave a message with your report, spelling your first and last names and telling us your town. If you need help identifying a t
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