Sunday, April 1, 2012

Peregrine Falcon Attack - Goose protector

This morning I had one of the most amazing experiences I have ever witnessed.  I apologize for the poor quality of the photos as all the action happened almost a quarter of a mile away and these were the best I could get.  But the I hope you enjoy this experience with me.

At Market Lake near Roberts, I was looking for new arrivals when I saw a Peregrine falcon working a burned over area.  It flushed a flock of Northern Pintails.  I saw the falcon hit a male going full speed.  By the time I got turned around the falcon had attack the injured duck several times and a Canada goose had left its mate and was driving the falcon away from the injured pintail.  The falcon took a perch on a nearby post.

Everytime the falcon attack, the goose would snap its bill and move closer to the injured duck.

At one point during the ordeal, the goose moved the injured duck under its wing while the falcon continued to try to drive the goose away.

The goose's mate continued to call and when the protector left, the falcon would attack the injured duck.

Each time the goose would return, chasing the falcon off the duck.

With the injured duck becoming weaker, the goose became more aggressing toward the falcon.

The goose actually placed the duck between its legs and stood over it.

Once while the goose flew back to its mate, the falcon picked up the duck to fly off with it when the goose came back, causing the falcon to drop the duck.

Once the goose grabbed the duck by its bill and pulled it toward the deeper water, but its mate continued to call it away from the duck.  Eventually the duck died while the goose was away.

The goose chased the falcon away from the body so it could check it out.

Finding the duck dead, the goose walked away allowing the falcon to return.  The goose bowed its head facing the falcon and body - stayed 15 to 20 minutes with its head down before flying off.

The battle lasted almost two hours.  I am glad I noticed, witnessed and learned from the experience.

Why did the goose protect the injured duck?  It was only a Northern Pintail migrating through the area.  Life and death in the wildness of Idaho could teach us humans lessons that we should learn.  This experience taught me some lessons I will never forget.


Wilma said...

Quite a scene to witness. Thank you for sharing.

Bekkieann said...

So amazing and puzzling. Really a beautiful experience.

Barb said...

What an episode in Nature to witness, Bill. It leaves me wondering and thinking, too.

Gaelyn said...

What an amazing sight to see. I wonder if we just miss most of these protective events.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Bill, what an absolutely outstanding piece of nature you have witnessed and shared. I have cold chills! The Goose knew that the duck was in trouble and felt it could maybe help...kind of like a big guy helping out a smaller friend from being bullied...very heart wrenching and yet as you said, we can all learn something. I would like to give that male Canada Goose a big hug for trying~

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Incredible series of shots. Who'd of thought that a goose would protect a duck. I didn't know that a goose could hold its own against a falcon.

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Wow, what an unusual episode. Excellent post.

Darryl and Ruth :)

Sallie ( said...

Words fail me. This is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing -- and for being there. I'm in awe.

Veronica Wald said...

Holy cow! What a story! As I read I wondered if the goose was responding to the duck as if it were a gosling?

Marya said...

That is so incredible! Thank you for sharing. I wish I could have seen it.

Monts said...

Hi Bill That was certainly some event to witness, just goes to show there is good and bad in nature also.

Kristi said...

Wow, what an incredible thing to witness! I have a new respect for Canada Geese now!

Janie said...

That was a fascinating encounter. I never would have guessed a goose would go to such lengths to protect a duck from a falcon!

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