May 24, 2011 / Brooklyn news / Park Slope / Meadows of Shame

Goose down! One of the baby goslings is missing and believed dead

The Brooklyn Paper
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And then there were three.

One of Prospect Park’s miracle goslings has gone missing — and Mother Nature is a prime suspect.

Heavy weekend rains, illness or a predator apparently killed one of four goose babies, born against all odds in the wake of last year’s goose slaughter and this year’s effort to humanely keep surviving geese from reproducing.

“It’s survival of the fittest out there — it happens,” said wildlife advocate Mary Beth Artz. “It’s just sad.”

The original foursome was the surviving litter from a sextet of eggs that had been discovered near Dog Beach inside the park.

In early May, all six eggs were coated with corn oil in an attempt to humanely destroy the developing embryos. But nature always finds a way, and all six eggs hatched — though two goslings died almost immediately of natural causes.

The remaining four goslings quickly became Prospect Park’s unofficial children, a living symbol of the horror of last year’s federal slaughter of more than 300 geese, killed in the name of aviation safety.

“They represent hope for new life,” said park watchdog Johanna Clearfield.

After the birth, The Brooklyn Paper quickly sponsored a naming contest and cooed for page after glorious page. The New York Times followed with a its own write-up, and a new group called Goose Watch formed to conduct “stakeouts” in the park to protect the baby birds from another federal slaughter.

But on Sunday — one of six rainy days last week — park-goers noticed that Brooklyn’s famous goose family was short one squawker.

No feathered bodies have washed to shore, nor have there been signs of “fowl play” — but healthy gosling almost always stick with their parents.

“If they are injured or weak they sometimes get left behind; but they don’t last long in those cases,” said Jane Austin, a biologist who works for the United States Geological Survey. “It’s likely that a predator got it.”

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

W. O. from Park Slope says:
I remember reading this on Prospect Heights Patch's site yesterday:
What a shame....
May 23, 2011, 11:21 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
See what I said? In name that gosling.i said why name it if its gonna be slaughterd,i dont know if it was but just saying.
May 23, 2011, 11:59 pm
Kristen V. Brown from Park Slope says:
As originally reported by Park Slope Patch blogger Johanna Clearfield!

Kristen V. Brown
Editor, Park Slope Patch
May 24, 2011, 6:21 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
I suspect one of the Goose Watch Patrol.
May 24, 2011, 7:26 am
annie from prospect park southwest says:
Goose down!.. how clever...

Can we name the remaining gosling before we lose them?

Or... accusing the goose watch control of what exactly?.. you better put up or shut up.
May 24, 2011, 11:56 am
PattyA from Manhattan says:
I'm sorry, but it is not "natural" that of six goslings hatched, only three now remain. Geese are among the most devoted and protective parents to their young -- one reason why Canada geese are such survivors in a normally cruel world.

There are a couple of things to suspect:

1-- The dousing of the eggs in oil compromised the developing fetuses.

2-- The constant harassing of the few geese on the lake has terrorized the parents of these goslings and caused them to change their normal behavior (i.e. adapt).

Geese normally like open spaces to rear their young. That these geese have chosen a less safe, secluded and wooded area to keep their goslings indicates a change and reaction to terror.

Please CALL OFF THE DOGS so that these remaining goslings and their parents have some chance of survival!
May 24, 2011, 11:59 am
JC from Park Slope says:
May 24, 2011, 12:07 pm
JC from Park Slope says:
It was not 300 geese that were killed, closer to 400 geese.There is also a pending plan to anhilate one million (1 million)
Also it is very possible that the “humane” process of “egg addling” – conducted now by the Humane Society in Prospect Park, may have caused birth defects in the goslings. The first two may have died due to that “humane” process (notfool proof) and the third may have died also because of that process.
May 24, 2011, 12:10 pm
JC from Park Slope says:
There is also a pending plan to anhilate one million (1 million) more geese. documented by the USDA and posted on report here:
May 24, 2011, 12:10 pm
JC from Park Slope says:
Please call Eric Landau - Head of community Affairs at the Prospect Park Alliance and ask him to cancel the contract with "Goosebusters" which keeps sic'king dogs on the geese causing them to hide in rat-potential areas. Please call 718 968 8951, you are entitled to complain, Prospect park is a public/private park, your tax dollars are at work. Woudn't you prefer to have the thousands spent on CLEANING UP the park -- If you have been there on the weekends, you know the mountains of flea and bug infested garbage that can pile up because of lack of proper trash containers. Call and complain to put your money where its needed.
May 24, 2011, 12:13 pm
JC from Park Slope says:
Correction: Prospect Park Alliance number is
718 965 8951

SORRY - that was a typo
May 24, 2011, 12:16 pm
Henry from Bay Ridge says:
Has anyone checked out where Tupper Thomas was when the gosling disappeared?
May 24, 2011, 12:31 pm
jc from park slope says:
that's hilarious henry. i'm sure the baby gosling is laughing in its grave. so so funny.
May 24, 2011, 12:35 pm
MarionA from Manhattan says:
I agree with Patty; having spent hundreds of hours around geese and goslings I believe it is totally unnatural for half of six goslings to go missing like this, especially the location and fencing. A gander protecting its family looks ferocious and I have seen them run off dogs five times their size with no problem.

If the oiling was done in early May as stated in this article, that is not long before they hatched and the oxygen deprivation could have lethally damaged them.

I also think they may be starving trying to survive in that bush, which is the only place I have ever seen photos of them. I have never seen geese live in the bush like that. The staple food of Canada geese is grass not worms. Bush also makes it impossible for the parents to run off any predators, such as raccoons, because they have no room to maneuver their wings.

I am not sure why PP is still using goose busters when there are less than 30 geese in the lake and one small family who cannot even flee. This strikes me as the height of inhumanity and it appears the goal for PP is no geese at all costs. So sad.
May 24, 2011, 12:56 pm
JC from Park Slope says:
May 24, 2011, 1:18 pm
PattyA from Manhattan says:
Goslings of Canada geese usually have very high survival rates because, as Marion notes, both parents are extremely protective of them.

It is absolutely NOT "natural" for half the clutch to die within two weeks of hatching.

Speculating that the oiling did not severely compromise them (which admitedly is large speculation), then the dog harassment certainly cannot be helping.

This goose family needs to get to the lake where there is better food and protection.

It is time to IMMEDIATELY CALL OFF THE DOGS to try to give some chance to the remaining goslings to survive.
May 24, 2011, 1:24 pm
PattyA from Manhattan says:
The idea that "rain" might have killed this gosling is as laugable as saying a warm bath would kill a human baby.

Nature isn't killing these babies. Humans are.

We kill them through the "egg addling."

We kill them, by chasing them with Border Collies from the areas where they would normally eat and raise their young.

Isn't anyone asking WHY this goose family is hiding in the bushes?

That is not normal goose behavior or habitat.

If we are truly serious about wanting to see these last three babies surive then we either need to CALL OFF THE DOGS or START FEEDING THE GOOSE FAMILY.
May 24, 2011, 2:23 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Check the owl pellets.
May 24, 2011, 4:43 pm
hunter from prospect park says:
Don't look at me, I didn't do it.
May 24, 2011, 6:19 pm
Johanna from Cuckooville says:
10 million cows die under miserable conditions every year--for McDonalds alone. Millions of precious chickens too.

Yet you people cry your eyes out for free ranging geese. It's shocking, sad, and of course, absolutely mental.

You goose people really need to have your beaks examined.
May 24, 2011, 8:30 pm
PattyA from Manhattan says:
@ Cukooville:

Yes, it is true that 5 million animals are killed everyday for so-called, "meat." If you eat meat, then thank yourself for that.

However, the ONE bastion of "safety" we thought animals HAD from human tyranny was our public parks.

Obviously, even THAT is not true.
May 24, 2011, 8:41 pm
Lassie from Dog Pound says:
...just dogs doing what nature intended for them.
May 24, 2011, 9:53 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
I'll stop eating animals when animals stop eating animals.
May 24, 2011, 10:27 pm
Spinoza from Hague says:
But unlike an animal, you're too much of a —— to kill your own food.
May 24, 2011, 11:20 pm
Johanna Clearfield from Park Slope says:
That's cute - someone is now using my name and adding "cuccoo ville" as my descriptive adjective. It must be insane for me, as a Buddhist, to believe that as a human, I can make a spiritual commitment to the alleviation of the suffering of all sentient beings. As humans are able to make choices that animals cannot, for example we use the bathrooms. We don't (hopefully) incest our young. We don't swing from trees. We are human and we have choices that we make every day that set us apart from animals. For more info on compassion, see
May 25, 2011, 11:31 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
First time for everything, but this is the first time I've ever seen incest used as a verb.
May 25, 2011, 4:59 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
It's probably someone's house cat that they let loose and expect the rest of the community to clean up after. I do my best by proudly leaving out treys of antifreeze out on MY OWN PROPERTY.
May 25, 2011, 7:58 pm
Johanna Clearfield from Park Slope says:
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.
May 26, 2011, 12:23 pm
tupelo35 from windsor terrace says:
or, it can be if a verbrator is used.
May 26, 2011, 1:45 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
"There is no information on the group or any of its members"

If a website disappears and nobody can find it, did it ever really exist?

Those voices will go away soon.
May 26, 2011, 3:27 pm
annie from prospect park southwest says:
or, hopefully you will go away soon
June 1, 2011, 12:31 pm

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