Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cape Barren geese breed on Phillip Island

In a low-lying area alongside Grossard Point road, the grass is lush and green, and a nearby dam full to overflowing. A pair of Cape Barren geese have chosen this territory as theirs alone, and defend it against any other goose, by trumpeting noisily and flapping their wings.

The bond between the pair is incredibly strong and this past summer they've successfully reared three babies. But the youngsters have been told, "Go forth, be independent and multiply."

Cape Barren geese breed on Phillip Island and on other islands in Bass Strait (a stretch of water between southern Victoria and Tasmania) such as Flinders and Cape Barren Islands. They have very strong beaks evolved to graze native pastures, and a distinctive honking call.

Every month or so a pair of Cape Barren geese fly over our house, flapping their huge wings and honking softly before landing on the grass between our house and the sea. Their presence is always welcomed.

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