Sunday, October 28, 2007

Injured Canada Near WBZ

Reported by Bob La Trémouille

An old friend wrote to seek help for an injured Canada near WBZ on Soldiers Field Road in Allston - Brighton.

The following are his comments and my reply. If anybody can help, it would be appreciated.

Since this was initially published, comments have come in from Marilyn, Cheri and Ellen as well, plus a few others.

I have added a nice summary from Cheri. Of necessity, this is the end and I cannot include all the comments. This is getting too long.

1. Injured Goose.
2. Your editor's reply.
3. Marilyn.
4. Cheri of Maple Farm Sanctuary in Mendon, MA.
5. Bob in Response to Cheri.
6. Cheri - Summary.

1. Injured Goose.

William Budington writes:


Hello friends of the Charles River White Geese,

I am contacting you because Cheri from Maple Farm Sanctuary in Mendon, MA alerted me to a situation which has been troubling her. A man that works for a radio station in Boston located at 1200 Storrow Drive called Cheri and told her that there is a Canadian Goose with one foot living near his place of work, and that this goose would often cross Storrow when looking for food and water. He is concerned that the Goose will get hit by oncoming traffic, especially given its disabled condition.

The goose is also ostracized from the other geese living there because of its condition.

Since Cheri has to take care of the animals on the farm, she doesn't really have any time to come into Boston. So she called me to see if I could look into it and hopefully bring the duck to her, so that it can live out its life in peace on the farm. Today, myself and a friend of mine went to investigate, and we found the goose. After numerous attempts to approach the goose, he just flew away.

Recognizing that the attempt was futile, we stopped and figured we would need some additional help in this situation.

We were wondering if any of you have any experience with this sort of stuff, and if not, if you can refer us to someone that can help us.

Cheri has a net that we can possibly use, but we personally have no experience with capturing geese.

If you can help, please let me know. I am available at this email and my phone number is 857 204 6906.

Thank you,
Volunteer, Boston Animal Defense League

2. Your editor's reply.

I am copying a number of people who might be interested. (Aside to Marilyn: I can't find our Brighton contacts.)

Unfortunately, Little Brook, the Native American who cared for the Charles River White Geese for a number of years and who also does not live that far from you (1) does not have direct email access and (2) is not in very good physical shape.

Little Brook, however, is the only person I am aware of with experience providing comfort and native medications to water fowl in need.

I will also post your notice of the Charles River White Geese blog.

A few thoughts, however. In 2001, a nut ran around the Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese. He killed a number of nesting geese and finally graduated to the rape and murder of a young woman for which he has been tried and convicted.

He was emulating the environmentally reprehensible City of Cambridge and Department of Conservation and Recreation. These two entitities egged him on with the silence of the guilty.

The nut's attacks on animals reached a pinnacle in July 2001 when, in an clearly political act, he apparently was the killer of Bumpy, the leader of the gaggle. WBZ-TV telecast the removal of Bumpy's body from the Charles as the lead of its 11 pm newscast.

Our first knowledge that something was wrong when Bumpy was killed was when some youths found a young female goose who had been stabbed in the side. She was one of five other geese, besides Bumpy, attacked in that outrage.

Iowa, as we called her, hopped around on one foot until the following November or December when she finally was able to start using that leg. She got a lot of treatment from Little Brook. After a period of years, she recovered so much that her prior infirmity was fully healed for all practical purposes.

I find the fact that the Canada is flying away from you to be a positive thing.

Iowa hopped around on one leg for many months, either fully off her injured leg or, then, favoring the injured leg. Iowa also kept away from all humans other than Little Brook. I would think that your one-legged Canada should be able to survive quite adequately, especially since he has retained his ability to fly.

Iowa was never rejected by the gaggle. The fact that he is ostracized is ominous. [I, however, remember a Canada who was similarly ostracized. I saw him during the spring in the park between the Gardner Museum and the Museum School. If this is the same one, the fact that he is still alive says a lot. This other guy's problem, however, looked like angel-wing, an odd wing formation.

My and Marilyn Wellons' (my co-chair with the Friends of the White Geese) experience has been that free animals, more than anything else, want to remain free. When they are so hurt that they allow themselves to be carried by somebody wishing to help, especially to be carried away from their habitat, they commonly have been beyond help.

Thank you for your true concern about animals (and your name is familiar).

PS: I also remember Cheri, and I do so with good feelings. I am copying her as well.

3. Marilyn.

Bob, Mr. Budington,

I'm trying to see Little Brook sometime this week and
will raise the issue of the injured goose.

My own reaction is that if the goose can fly and is
eating, it will recover or not, as nature decides.
Iowa, the goose Bob mentions, wasn't excluded by the
flock when she was so hurt. She definitely kept
herself apart to nurse her wounds, though. In time
she recovered and rejoined the group.

I've seen solitary geese over the years of walking on
the Charles. Since geese are social animals this is
unusual. Given all the water traffic from big motor
boats in the summer and shells leading up to and
including the Head of the Charles, it wouldn't
surprise me if there were injuries among migrating
birds whose flocks moved on without them.

There are, apparently, ways of treating injured geese,
and Little Brook knows them. I will ask him what he

Thank you so much for caring about the goose! I'll
get back to you asap.

Marilyn Wellons

4. Cheri of Maple Farm Sanctuary in Mendon, MA.

I received your email that you also sent Bill regarding the goose on Soldier's Field Rd. The fellow who originally called me (from the radio station) called me a few minutes ago, still concerned. I explained I had several people that went there over the weekend to observe the goose.

Like you, I'd rather see a wild animal remain where it feels safe and live out it's life. If he were in desperate pain I would take a different action. But it sounds like the goose can fly (although it can't push off as well as a normal goose) and it eats well. According to this concerned fellow, the flock left and this goose is all by itself now. This fellow has found another group in Bellerica that is willing to take the goose in but they need someone to bring the goose to them (the group is Beaks and Noses I believe). I tried to discourage him from putting the goose through that trauma but ultimately I can't control his final decision.

Any further words of wisdom would be deeply appreciated...

Maple Farm Sanctuary

5. Bob in Response to Cheri.

It sounds like we are in agreement.

My only words of wisdom (aside from passing your comments on to the same key people who got the original transmittal of my response to him) are that I would love to add your comments to the blog report.

As far as the Canada being left back by his gaggle, my strongest wish is that he find the Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese in such a manner that he is comfortable going there.

The Charles River Urban Wilds people (one of the bcc's) regularly feed needy water fowl. I have been aware of, in one case, a Canada whose mate was killed who simply stayed her. I and some others referred to him as the lone Canada.

Food is available for this valiant bird in addition to what he would normally find anyway. I hope he finds it, but birds survive during the off season.

You are a good person and an old friend. Thank you for reaffirming my faith in you.

6. Cheri - Summary.

Bob, Ellen, Marilyn,

It's been so wonderful having this support system even though my instincts have certainly guided me to our combined opinion. The fellow who first contacted about this goose is very concerned about the wellbeing of this bird, and I'm grateful for anyone having concern for the environment and it's inhabitants. I think his concerns brought him to the conclusion that captivity would protect and heal the goose.

Hopefully he is beginning to understand that the best thing is to allow the goose to live out it's life in the wild, with some assistance. Some of my friends are now making regular visits to make certain the goose has food. At some point I'm hoping the goose will find the feeding station by the BU bridge.

My thoughts, prayers and respect go out to Little Brook if anyone talks to him...

I will contact Bob if there are any changes we need to be concerned
about. Thank-you all for your kind hearts.

Maple Farm Sanctuary