Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wild geese protecting young, birds of Phillip Island

Well its nearing the end of the Victorian winter and it's time for Phillip Island's Cape Barren Geese families to start learning about life. While photographing this young family at Phillip Island's Fishers Wetland I noticed that the parent bird was keeping an eye on something in the sky ....

What's that in the sky? Cape Barren Geese, Phillip Island

The family had been feeding in a relaxed manner spread up to 4-5 metres apart (see iPhone shot above). Over a few seconds things tightened up quite a lot and that's when the adult bird could be seen checking the sky and posturing. I fired off a few more shots while the bird adopted this unusual posture (I am guessing signalling to the young who initially kept feeding and didn't seem at all fussed) ....

.... and I looked up to see what the fuss was about. On this occasion it was a Wedgie but there were also regular fly-overs from Swamp harrier and Whistling kite to keep the locals on their toes.

Wedge-tailed eagle, Fishers Wetland, Phillip Island
Now the parent bird had gathered the young goslings together and appeared to have most of them in a clump - the goslings had stopped feeding.

Checking to see that the threat has moved on
Hmmm ... but that guy's still there!
"Yeah .... He's still there Mum/Dad!"

I am pleased to report that the birds were much less concerned about my presence and wandered off to continue feeding in a relaxed manner. As with all large geese, Cape Barrens can put on quite an aggressive display if they are trying to get a message across - I reckon that they knew they had my measure! 

There were several new families (with between 3-5 chicks) at the wetland and many watchful birds.

Sentries on duty, Cape Barren Geese, Fishers Wetland, Phillip Island

Have you got a pass? 

Cape Barren Geese, Fishers Wetland, Phillip Island, 16 Aug 2014
Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

Bird on!


  1. Great observations Pete. Were they making any alarm sounds or just the posturing? Cute little goslings, haven't seen them before. Be interested to read another post of immature ones and how they look compared to the adults. Another wonderful post.

  2. It's certainly a great place to observe Cape Barren Geese, and the goslings are very cute.

  3. Those goslings are great. The birds were sitting tight on the nest when I was last at Phillip Island.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. Don't you just love 'em? I certainly do. They are such beautiful and alert birds.
    Great shots of the little family.
    Isn't it difficult to tell the difference between crows and ravens, I've never been able to check their back teeth to make sure.

  5. Wonderful photos! The goslings are so adorable.

  6. Geese can be quite protective with goslings around. My kids found out the hard way when the geese ran at them hissing and pecking! Great shots.

    Iowa Voice

  7. I've never seen Cape Barron Geese. They are beautiful, as are those cute little Goslings.