Well-written journal by wildlife biologist Dr Bernd Heinrich. He follows the life of Peep, a goose that he raised.

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GREG AND MARY



Greg and Mary in April, 2006


We met Greg and Mary in April, 2005 at the nesting site when they ran up to us, honking in unison, greeting us as if they'd known us all their lives.

We named them Greg and Mary because one was gregarious and the other, merry.



Greg

Greg has a wide block-shaped white-cheek pattern. He is gregarious but reserved, always staying a safe distance from us. Mary is much more sociable.

When Mary was nesting in 2005, she'd hop off her nest to come up to us for a treat. As soon as she got off her nest, Greg would rush up to it and mount it, keeping guard until Mary returned to incubate. We have never seen another gander behave this way.




Greg guarding Mary's nest!

We don't know if Greg and Mary had any goslings last year because we left the nest site after a railroad tragedy that killed The 86Ps' two goslings and they did not show up at our park in the fall.

Greg and Mary returned to the nest site at the end of March this year. They decided to change nest sites, probably because they were too close to other nesting geese. Last year, they'd fought with Thor, a gander whose goose was nesting on the other side of the railroad track. CLICK HERE for the photo story.

They chose The 86Ps' former nest site because they had not returned to nest this year. Their takeover of Mrs. 86P's nest site brought the point home to us that something had happened to one of our favorite goose couples. We missed 86P, the nest site's Official Greeter.

There's a sad ending to their nesting attempt. Long after the couples along the railroad tracks had had their babies, Mary was still incubating. She'd been on her nest for over six weeks. They remained hopeful. Mary hardly ever left her nest. She continued to pluck down from her breast to line her nest as parents paraded their fluffy goslings down the marsh. Mary was an utterly lonely sight when the sun set and Greg, her loving mate, sat beside her in the dusk.

Finally, after almost seven weeks of incubation, they abandoned their hopes and left the nest site May 28, 2006.

We haven't seen them since.

Read more about Greg and Mary in CANADA GOOSE FIGHT.







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