Monday, 23 May 2011

GOOSE OR DUCK? Gosling or duckling?

As you know, spring is the season for an array of fluffy chicks, ducklings and goslings – we currently have a myriad of species here at Seaview Wildlife, mostly born to wild fowl who choose the sanctity of the Park to raise their young each year. Amongst the ducks, geese, swans, chickens and guinea fowl some are rare breeds, some common and some hybrid….and then of course there’s the odd one out, the adopted duckling ….

You can imagine our surprise when we noticed this week’s conundrum - the duckling who should be (or wants to be) a gosling! A pair of wild Barnacle geese nesting in the central area of our Park have somehow become proud adoptive parents to a tiny Mallard duckling!

2 Canada Goslings DSC_0332

Here on the right are two Canada goslings (Branta canadensis) running to keep up with their Mum on the central area of the Park

Mother Barnacle with new goslings May 2010 (JB) DSC_0470

The image (left) shows a female Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) with her newly hatched brood of Goslings

Cropped Barnacle pair with adopted Mallard duckling DSC_0761 Cropped Barnacle pair with Mallard duckling DSC_0738

Is it a gockling? Or perhaps a dosling? No, it’s a voluntary inter-species adoption – the tiny Mallard duckling (above) appears to be convinced it’s a newly hatched Barnacle gosling and the adult Barnacle pair undoubtedly believe the youngster is theirs – they’re displaying very typically protective parental behaviour – extreme vigilance and defensiveness.

No comments:

Post a Comment