O’Shea & Bramley, Veterinary Hospital, Wexford.
Interesting & Fun Facts About Goose
As we have had a gorgeous Goose visit us for the last couple of days, I thought I would dedicate todays slot on the goose. Today the owners also bought in its lovely baby gosling and it truly is adorable.
Displaying a number of characteristics that are not normally seen in every animal or bird, geese are among the finest and elegant looking birds that nature has acquainted us with. Amicable, loyal, caring and helpful are the best traits with which a goose is identified. Take this for example: a male goose would die exhibiting its masculinity rather than escaping when its female counterpart falls in danger. Sample this: goose attacks humans only when it finds them threatening their young ones. Or this: geese mate for life and remain loyal, not mating with another, even after one passes away. It is such kind of qualities that makes a goose attractive, as well as distinctive from the rest of the birds
Belonging to the order anseriformes, which includes over 140 species of waterfowls, geese are counted among the largest of the all waterfowls other than swans and ducks who are their distant relatives.
A goose is often characterised by long neck, non-iridescent coloration and its honk, which sets it apart from its cousins.
A female of this genre is called a goose whereas a male is called a gander. Whereas, gosling is the term used to call a young bird of this goose family.
Being waterfowls, geese love to spend a significantly large portion of their time on land.
Favourite dwelling area of a goose is the small grasslands in close proximity to a source of water.
Most of the daytime of a goose is spent in the hunt for food, most of which comes from grazing.
Geese prefer intake of fertilised grass in their food rather than unfertilised one. That is why they can be easily seen at golf courses, playgrounds and well-preserved lawns.
Group of geese is called gaggle. A gaggle that is flying is called a wedge or a skein.
Geese enhance their flying range as much as 71% than their individual flying range by flying in ‘V’ form. The flapping of one’s wings provides an automatic drift to the immediate follower goose.
Exhibiting excellent team work, when the leading goose gets tired, another one takes the guiding position, and the former shifts back in the formation. While flying, the group even honks to encourage those in front to maintain speed.
Geese are very affectionate and kind-hearted with other geese in their group, or gaggle. If any one of them falls sick or wounded, few of them withdraw from the formation and strive to protect and care for him. The geese withdrawing from the main group would stay with the sufferer goose till it recovers to fly again or depart its life. Afterwards, they form another formation or join the previous group.
At the age of three years, a goose selects a mate for itself. Loyal bird as it is, a goose is known to live with its mate for a long part of its life. Even after the death of any one from the couple, the other one would live several years, alone, without engaging with a new partner. And many a times, they remain single for the rest of their life.
They live together and bring new gosling every year. Both of the parent geese take part in upbringing of the goslings which is one of the reasons for high life expectancy in young ones.
The male community of geese display caring and protective nature towards their female counterparts and will even stand between danger and her.
Having good instinct for places, geese return to their general area of living where they lived most after their birth. It has even been observed that geese fly 2,000-3,000 miles to return to the exact place of their dwelling to mate and nest.
Geese live in nests which they build at secluded locations in the vicinity of water. Nesting generally begins at the age of two years.
Mating season of geese begins in February and ends in early April.
As a part of reproduction cycle, the female goose lays an egg each day to reach the number to 5 eggs. Once all of the eggs are laid off, she incubates eggs in her nest for 30 days.
When she goes far from eggs, she covers them with sticks to make them feel cosy and protected. Meanwhile, the male parent goose keeps the nest protected from a distance so that predators don’t get a hint of the nest and eggs.
When goslings come out of eggs, parent geese introduce them to open water within 24 hours of their fetching.
A day old gosling is capable of diving and swimming as much as 30 to 40 feet underwater. Attaining the age of three months, goslings begin to fly.
Young goslings stay with their parents during migration period and return to their original place after a year with their parents.
There are very few birds which do not split from their family after breeding season, goose is one of them.
An adult goose undergoes molting, every year, because of which it loses its flight and tail feathers. It takes nearly 6 weeks for new feathers to grow back. Meanwhile, the goose dwells near water regions, primarily to get protection from its predators.
The group of major predators of geese include foxes, owls, raccoons and snapping turtles.
Geese vocalise their messages in ten different ways, depending upon the situation. And in a threatening situation, geese stretch out their necks and make loud honks.
Though geese are wild animals, they have been domesticated from centuries and still are, for their eggs and meat.
There are around 30 species of goose in the world.