Brooklyn’s Miracle Goose Baby, Dead

05/25/2011 8:59 AM |


  • Dead.

Despite man’s cruel attempts to stop goose eggs from hatching in Prospect Park, four goslings broke out of their shells more than two weeks ago, and have been park celebrities ever since. But one of these miracle babies has gone missing, reports the Park Slope Patch. The goslings are down to three.

The Brooklyn Paper lays blame on “heavy weekend rains, illness or a predator.” “If they are injured or weak they sometimes get left behind; but they don’t last long in those cases,” a biologist told the paper. “It’s likely that a predator got it.” But the Patch blogger, wildlife rehabilitator Johanna Clearfield, points the finger at someone else: the Prospect Park Alliance.

After all, it’s the Alliance who contracted a company to cover goose eggs in oil to stop them from hatching.

There is a very strong possibility that the missing gosling was in some way deformed and/or mildly retarded as a result of the “egg addling” technique…If there is a heavy downpour or some other natural accident that removes the oil, the bird will continue to develop. There is, however, the risk that any bird born after receiving this treatment might be in some way deformed or slightly retarded. This may have been the case with our missing gosling.

The goose vanished despite the recent formation of a secret Goose Watch group, who pledged to watch the birds 24/7, so that federales couldn’t come in under cloak of night and spirit them away to their deaths again.

No word yet on Tupper Thomas‘ whereabouts when the gosling vanished.

7 Comment

  • Actually, six goslings originally hatched and now half of them are dead.

    That is highly unusual for Canada geese who are among the most protective animals on earth towards their young and whose goslings enjoy high survival rates.

    In addition to the dousing with oil some weeks back that deprived the developing embroys of oxygen, there is the daily “Goose harassment” with Border Collies that has chased this family of geese from the lake area where they would normally raise young and sent them into “hiding” in thickets and bushes.

    All signs and evidence points far more towards human harassment killing off these innocent goslings than anything “nature” could come up with.

    We don’t after all, blame nature when humans throw their dogs or babies down garbage chutes.

    And nature does not deserve the blame here.

  • Yes, apparently six goslings hatched and now three are dead. If that was the normal resident gosling mortality rate I think it is easy to see there would be no large populations of Canada geese anywhere because they would not live to grow up. As well as the oil and deprivation of oxygen I tend to think starvation is a good possibility. Every photo I have seen of this goose family they are in the bush with not a blade of grass to be seen – grass is the dietary staple of geese and goslings are usually seen grazing on it much of the day to fuel their huge growth spurt – a gosling has to increase its weight from 4-6 oz to about 8 lbs in just two months – that is increasing their birth weight 21 times. I do not believe there is much nutrition to be found in the bush the photos show them to be in. I would also point out harassment may be forcing the parents to hide in the bush – this is a very unusual location for geese and I have never seen them in bush like this before; it also makes it very difficult for them to protect their goslings because they need a lot of wing room to fight. I agree with Patty – I would be looking at a lot of causes before natural causes for the death of half of these goslings.

  • “Goose Watch” will be keeping an eye out for the USDA midnight round-ups but can not and does not intend to do anything to prevent the goslings from natural -or unnatural- death.

  • It seems the real goals are to chase and harass the geese out of the larger, more visible parks like Central Park and Prospect Park and gas them somewhere else less conspicuous and likely to be noticed.

    Certainly, the harassment and terrorization cannot be good for ANY geese or mallards at Prospect Park right now — especially those who cannot fly. Parents trying to raise newly hatched goslings are incapable of escape.

    Nothing should operate in a vacumn. Everything is connected to everything else.

  • On Deborah Ah’s Blog,…
    She posts the USDA’s report, “Ridding the Sky of Geese” and notes that the current plan by the USDA is to anhilate 1 MILLION geese on the East Coast. While we are struggling for our beloved Prospect Park Geese, we also intend to take this to Washington. – Johanna Clearfield, NY State Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (vs. destroyer) please feel free to contact me at

  • For the most comprehensive information on the history of the attack on our nation’s wildlife – please go to:

    This website is “The coalition to prevent the destruction of Canada Geese” which mysteriously “disappeared” much like the 400 Prospect Park Geese. There is no information on the group or any of its members.

  • I don’t know who posted that “goose watch” does not intend to do anything to prevent the natural or unnatural deaths of these goslings but it is beyond me who our what that individual was thinking. I am on goose watch — my own — and i am doing everything i can to be sure they are okay.