Yesterday’s blog mentioned how Canada geese (Branta canadansis) will often scuffle over territory or mates. There is a pair of Canada geese at Baum Lake (Shasta County CA) that I am watching. One goose, from observation I believe it is the female, has an injured leg, resulting in a pronounced limp. This injured goose gets around just fine and has no problem swimming or flying. The second goose seems very patient and protective of its injured partner. The two are usually in the same general area. It is a little early in the season for Canada geese to be nesting but they are pairing up.
The “limping” couple flew from the shore into the water and were contentedly swimming around. Suddenly another Canada goose approached. Both geese honked at the intruder, the intruder veered off and then returned. This is the point at which I began taking pictures.
The intruder is about to land on the right. The defending male is aggressively moving toward it. The limping goose (female) is on the left and remained off to the left throughout the confrontation.
The defender jumped onto the intruder and pushed him under the water. It only appears that there is one goose in the picture, however the intruder is under the water.
The intruder is beginning to surface under the defender.
The defender is on the left still attacking the intruder is on the right.
The intruder tried to fly off.
The defender caught up to the intruding goose and pushed it back down onto the water.
The intruder came up facing in the opposite direction.
The unwelcome visitor flew off and did not return. According to the camera timer the entire sequence of these eight pictures took place over about fifteen seconds. The original couple immediately began to swim about and feed once the intruding male left and did not seem to be disturbed by the experience.
Hopefully I can continue to watch and report on this distinctive pair of Canada geese throughout the breeding season.