Thursday, June 28, 2012

Welcome back to the river, Ellie!

 Tuesday, Ellie was well enough for a short trip to the Chemung.

When we arrived, we saw this dubious looking individual threatening the geese.

Well, why didn't they just fly away?  I intended to question the harrasser.
 And he wasn't alone.  There were several people who had the hapless fowl hemmed into a circle.

Fortunately, there were cars and trucks labeled to indicate that they were from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Okay, then.  I walked Ellie well away from the odd scene, and let her enjoy herself.  When she tired--and that was very, very soon--I popped her in the car and joined the intruders.  By then they were herding the geese up towards a hastily assembled chute that narrowed to a corral.

Mystery solved.  The birds couldn't fly; they are caught in their moulting season.  And they sure look scruffy.  this adult didn't have enough feathers to escape by air.

Neither did this adolescent.  They were easily directed into the chute and finally cramped together in the corral.

Then the DEC people began releasing some of them.  Those lucky few just wandered away to the water, clucking with irritation.  The rest huddled together.

 The DEC got down to business.  A few gently grabbed the younger birds, and one by one, they were handed down an assembly line of workers.
 The freed birds had already seen this show;  the rest simply fell in line.  There was very little squawking, except from the humans.  The annoyed geese were peeing and pooping on their handlers.
You can see in this closeup that the fowl were quiet.  There was one male who clucked at me when I aimed the camera at him.  Otherwise, they just waited patiently.

And the workers started by banding them.  No birds were hurt at any time.  A band was clamped onto the leg and the critter was passed down the line.

Here's a closeup.  No pain.  However, the band wasn't the only part of the procedure.

Nope.  The final indignity came at the hands of the last worker.  Each bird was sexed, by a very knowledgeable DEC'er.  Frankly, I couldn't see the differences.  Then the information was recorded with the band number and the location.  The now-cranky goose was released.

I felt priviledged to be able to record the banding.  And glad that Ellie just happened to be well enough to return to the river that day.

No comments:

Post a Comment