In the dark with Georgie and Frellnick

Tonight, as every night after the sun goes down, I went out to put away the chickens and geese.   As it often happens, there is no photo-op to capture the moments that happen at “Duck-butt Thirty” of an evening, and so I am left to tell you what happened tonight in the dark…

As stated, each night after sunset I grab a flashlight and head out to put everyone to bed.  I start on the north end of the property and work my way south.  First I put away the girls using my torch to light the way into their goose chalet.  Lately this has been a battle because for some reason Georgie and Frellnick run opposition and chase the girls away from the entrance and into the paddock.  So usually I have to chase them out first, and then guide the girls to bed.

Tonight I had little resistance from them so went about getting the girls in and then walked away to pick up a few things that had blown about in today’s high winds.  When I turned around the boys took off and began dashing at, and biting, the side of the well house!  I had seen this behavior before but never really caught on to what they were doing.  That is until tonight…

They are trying to chase away the big, black geese that are invading their territory!  I turned the light away from the walls and then back again to see if I was right in my theory.  Well, sure enough!  They stretched their necks, and ran at the walls hissing and trying to bite those big black geese again!

So now I am wondering…

Are they seeing their shadows and mistaking them for interlopers?   Perhaps  this is the reason they have been “chasing” the girls at bedtime?   I will have to pay closer attention tomorrow at Duck-butt Thirty and report back in my next post.


48 thoughts on “In the dark with Georgie and Frellnick

  1. duck duck goose says:

    hahaha!!…. geese are so silly!

    My pet ganders will bully others so that they cant get into their pasture at night also. But it is only boys they want to keep out. I have had to resort to chasing them half way down the field so the others can get in too. They really have a lot of “school yard bully” to them at times. Or “farm yard bully” I guess.

    I never have seen them fooled by shadows tho.

    I started trying to work with one small gander who’s hips and sockets seem to slip out of place….. and so had him separated for a month with me. Well now, of course, we are both bonded on to each other and I bring him in the house to watch TV sometimes as he needs to be social and have attention. (In a towel on my lap). He ends up nuzzling into my collar and falling asleep. Last time Annabelle – my cocker spaniel- got up with us and fell asleep with her head on top of his back….. both snoring their own snores.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Oh, poor baby! Can anything be done for him? Will he grow out of it? Well, at least he’s go you to look after him, the lucky boy! As for my crew, I will be keeping a closer watch on their antics and report back. So glad you visited today, Connie!

  2. pam says:

    That’s funny! I remember a horse lost a race once because he saw his shadow and jumped sideways from it, so it’s entirely logical that a goose would chase his own shadow. (Or should that be gander?) 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hi Tom! No, I don’t think they will get hurt. They are hissing and grabbing at the side of the building, but it is covered in vinyl siding and has a lot of give. As for AFV… if only I had a video recorder! 😉

  3. shoreacres says:

    Two things come to mind – the first is that old saying about someone being “scared of his own shadow”. That has to have a basis in reality somewhere, and I think we may have found it!

    The other thing it reminds me of are the birds (cardinals, especially) who will peck and peck at their reflection in the side mirrors of cars. Clearly, they think that “other bird” is a threat – makes sense that a shadow could evoke the same response.

    Heck, when I was a kid, I’d often avoid my parents’ bedroom at night. There was a street light on the other side of the big trees that reached up to that second story, and the shadows of the branches would scare me witless!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Linda, My animals often give me insider clues to the way things work in life. I am amazed almost daily at their antics. However, sometimes it takes me a few days (weeks, months?) to catch on to their messages.

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        We don’t normally think about the “why?” of it, but birdsong is all about proclaiming and protecting one’s territory. “The Guys” are just doing what comes naturally. (I’ve seen Robins bash themselves silly(er) while trying to drive off the “interloper” reflected in a window):

          • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

            LOL! You too? My mother always said “The only stupid question is the one not asked.” so nothing infuriates me more than the parent who, instead of just giving a proper answer, gets frustrated when their child keeps asking “Why?” Oh, and I’ve never failed to see a child yet who’s not totally delighted when you say, “I don’t know, let’s go find out!”

          • pixilated2 says:

            When I was teaching I used to do the same thing. It is wonderful to see the look they get when you admit you don’t know and then search for the answer(s) together. That simple act teaches more than just supplying the answers ever will. It creates a quest for knowledge!

    • pixilated2 says:

      LOL! Actually, duck-butt thirty takes place twice a day. After sun up, and after sun down. Although, I don’t usually get surprised by shenanigans in the early hours of the day. 😉

    • pixilated2 says:

      Lori, aren’t they? Our animal friends, both wild and domesticated, are wonderful teachers and inadvertent entertainers! They bring us so much joy, and we can learn so much from them.

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        While reading your title again this morning, an infinitely more quiet time allowed the thought to come – fully formed at last – complete with sound and moving pictures… At “duck butt thirty” I actually “see” thirty duck’s butts waddling on ahead, necks extended, eyes alert, the chooks adding a syncopated head jerk to the rhythm… QUACK!!

  4. duck duck goose says:

    I don’t think anything can be done for “Goose”, the crippled gander. Which makes me very sad. He is absolutely loving and sweet. I wish someone could adopt him, but I’m not sure this is the kindest thing to do with him. I may save some money up and have him put down by my vet, who is a country vet and tolerates my attachment to these animals. Very sweet bird.
    *only a few lucky people know how kind & connected these beautiful birds really are.

    • pixilated2 says:

      That is a shame, and yes, it would take a very special someone indeed to care for “Goose”. Poor baby. I had to have a gosling put down and my vet was shocked at first that I would even bring the little critter to him, but then he sat down and listened to my concerns. By the time I was done crying and telling what happened, he was near to tears too.

      AND, you are correct that most people do not understand the beauty of being connected to a goose. Most people I meet think they are mean, and they are afraid of them. If they only knew! I adore it when Polly tilts her head and stares me in the eye, or when she runs up on tippy-toes flapping her wings and honking when she sees me. The lady that delivers our mail knows the secret though! She stops to talk to them every day, rain or shine, and now they know the sound of her truck and come running to greet her each day! Don’t you love it? 😀

  5. duck duck goose says:

    I tell people all the time that they have nothing on me with a dog welcoming them home. Try 400 geese all looking up expectantly and then honking a full blast “helloo!!”.

    And my pet flock of 12 are just as silly.

    When Gustav was younger and my best bud, (before he decided he was really a goose) he would come running over, wings outstretched and braying. Id lean down to him and he’d gently say “hhhhh!” and nibble my face. It would terrify people who watched, I guess they thought he would pluck my eyeballs out. But they are very interested in eyes and understand exactly what they are. They are extremely visual animals.

    Today I wrapped up Goose in a towel and laid on the chaise outside for a bit. I put him on my chest and talked to him for a while. He bibbled at me, then looked me in the eyes (beak to nose) and tucked his head in the crook of my neck (between my coat collar and neck) and fell asleep. I let him sleep for about 10 minutes, then woke him up and put him in his cage.

    He is a heart breaker. This is killing me.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Connie, I understand your feelings. I had one a couple of years ago that had a lame leg. It walked with a limp, and sometimes would just crumple to the ground and not move. I kept the pool full, and put her into it several times a day. Later, I even built her a ramp/steps so she could get in more easily. Anyway, by the time she was a year old she seemed completely healed. Is there any chance at all that Goose will self correct given time? Do you think time in a wading pool to exercise every day would help?

So how about that? Go on; say something!

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