Birding/Lone goose

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Question
Geese on pond
Geese on pond  
We live west of Ottawa on a property with two large ponds. Each year, geese have their broods here, stay all summer and, in the fall, these geese and others fly in periodically until they migrate. Right now we have a lone goose. It may have lost it's mate as a dead goose was found near the ponds. Many flocks have come  and gone in the last few weeks but this goose has not joined them. We know it and some visiting geese were probably hatched here because they come fairly close to the house while feeding. Why will this goose not leave? We will be very worried if it has not left when the ponds freeze over.

Answer
Well, the goose might be injured or ill, but it's possible that it might have lost its mate. But that alone would not keep it from migration; it can certainly find another mate. I wouldn't worry too much about it just yet. Geese can even make it through the winter with the pond being frozen over. But let's hope it moves on. Thanks for your concern.

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Roger Lederer

Expertise

Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.

Experience

Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of Ornithology.com . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

Education/Credentials
PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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