Thursday, 31 May 2012

Barnacle Goose hatches a … Mallard Duckling!

We have dozens of wild Barnacle Geese that fly in to nest and raise their young at Seaview Wildlife Encounter each year.  A few weeks ago a pair of Barnacles were seen usurping a Mallard female from her nest, apparently because she was nesting in the exact spot that they had chosen last year.  Unfortunately the Mallard had already laid at least one egg because the ‘Gosling’ that appeared from underneath the mother Goose this morning wasn’t a Gosling but a Duckling!    The new hatchling is the first of the ‘Barnacle brood’ to hatch and has immediately imprinted on the female Barnacle Goose.  We’ll have to wait and see if mother Goose will wait for the rest of her brood to hatch and when they do, what assortment of shapes and sizes she will raise as her own!
I captured these images just a short while ago of the ‘surrogate Mother’ Barnacle Goose with her newly hatched Mallard Duckling:

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Images: Jules Brittan, General Manager, Seaview Wildlife Encounter

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