Wild Goose Chase

Yesterday evening, after a relaxing dinner on the back patio, I gave chase to a wild goose.  Here is how it happened.

We live near Laurel Creek (the creek not the Nature Centre) and we we have a couple of parks near our house.  Since the spring there have been at least 4 adult geese raising around 19 baby geese.  The young geese now have their adult plumage but are still a bit smaller than their parents.  We often see the mob of them grazing on the lawn or waddling lazily across bike paths.

Yesterday at dinner they turned up again and we noticed one of the geese appeared to have an injury on it’s right wing.  The wing was partially extended and nearly dragging on the ground.

We decided to call a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator and reached Joy Huggins of Wildlife Haven Waterloo.  She agreed to have a look at the animal if we could bring it in.  Thus began the goose chase!

By using an old blanket I was able to cover and calm the animal before lifting it into a cardboard box.

 

Jake is a juvenile porcupine.

I kept the blanket over the box to keep it dark and muffle human sounds.

The car ride to the rehab centre was quick and painless, but the goose started to throw a hissy fit when I took the box out of the car.

Joy gave the goose some pain medication and examined the wing and shoulder joint.  She said that a very swollen shoulder joint likely indicated a break in the joint, but that an X-ray would be needed.

In the meantime the goose would get a sling stay in an enclosure at the rehabilitation centre.

While I was there I also got to meet Jake a juvenile porcupine and Duck a female common merganser duck.  I was also thrilled to see a young merlin, and a mother mallard with ducklings.  Most of the animals had been orphaned or were recovering from a human-caused incident or an encounter with a house cat.

Common Merganser

Young Merlin

Canada Goose in its temporary home with an injured wing hanging at an uncomfortable angle.

Now I know who to contact if I see another case of injured wildlife.  If you are interested in helping wild animals, Joy accepts volunteer helpers and donations of supplies, produce and other necessities.  Learn more at her website and facebook page.