Vigorous defence by Magpie Geese

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sue818's picture
Vigorous defence by Magpie Geese

West Wyalong, NSW... these three Magpie Geese put up a vigorous defence of their goslings when this Australian Pelican was intent on sampling a gosling for dinner.

It was quiet until the Pelican arrived and made numerous attempts to grab a gosling. The adults put a wing over the young ones to hide them as well as herding them into the reeds. One Goose was hampered somewhat by having a freshwater clam attached to its toe.

It went on for a while until the Pelican finally moved off for easier prey. Quite something to watch.

dwatsonbb's picture

What a great experience. Part of me is glad the pelican missed out, but part of me is upset it did miss out. Wouldn't have picked pelicans as being interested in chicks, but I guess they have to eat to

Thanks for sharing.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818's picture

Apparently, they will take chicks of various sorts. I saw a photo of one with the chick looking out of its bill.. a bit upsetting really.

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Huh. Great sequence and behavioural shots! I love this sort of thing where I learn something new about the birds - had no idea that pelicans would take chicks if they can. Thanks for sharing. 

Devster's picture

Wow great sequence and story Sue. I knew Pelicans were opportunists but have never witnessed it in person. How does one get a clam attatched to their foot. lol

sue818's picture

Thanks, Dev. Yes I discovered two new things that day... I had not witnessed the behaviours before and had not considered that a freshwater clam could be an impediment! Quite a rewarding little wetland at West Wyalong.

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