Posted by: soniahs | July 16, 2011

Goose rescue

While at Interstate State Park, we witnessed a dramatic rescue of a gosling, swimming through the rapids of the St. Croix River. We were taking photos of the river when we started to hear agitated honking by what sounded like a flock of goslings. The water was pretty choppy, and we had trouble spotting them at first.

High water on the St. Croix (Y. Fernandez)

High water on the St. Croix (Y. Fernandez)

Eventually, we saw two adult geese, on a shallow ledge just upstream of a fenced-off boat ramp at the water’s edge. There seemed to be one gosling with them, looking exhausted. But where was the noise from the other birds coming from?

You can see the geese behind the fence. (Y. Fernandez)

It turns out that the other birds were on the downstream side of the fence, paddling together in in an eddy. It looks like what happened is one of the goslings got separated from the rest, and the parents went to fetch it while the other babies stayed put. They were making a lot of noise, so clearly they weren’t happy with the situation.

The parents collect the straggler (Y. Fernandez)

After the lone gosling was collected, the parents launched into the choppy water, and the other goslings swam out to meet them. They formed a tight flotilla as they were buffeted downstream by the waves. Rescue complete!

Stay close together! (Y. Fernandez)

Be well, geese, and may you find calmer waters downstream.


  1. no calmer waters yet – much rain
    in the st croix watershed

  2. Clearly, these geese will be able to deal with that.


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