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Posted by: atowhee | March 10, 2019

CACKLERS ALOFT, ALERT, A LOT

At Baskett Slough yesterday we saw thousands of Cackling Geese.  At rest they were grazing and loafing and napping in the short grass fields.  On alert, after an eagle fly-by, they were in the air.  Either way their numbers and their flock cohesion were impressive.  Are they really as united in their group as they seem?  Is it more than simply a survival mechanism versus the predator who needs to grab a single goose?  Eagles don’t have shotguns or assault rifles, just two sets of talons, enough for a single bird at once.cac-field1cac-field2cac-field3cac-field4cac-field5cac-field6cac-field7cac-field9cac-fly1As thousands circled overhead their calls were loud, but almost as much sound came from all those wings beating against the winter cold.  Stiff feathers against the molecules of the air–the sound of harsh rushing and air compression.  Bird energy forcing those bodies through a resistant atmosphere, the turbulence giving rise to a sound, no, thousands of individual sounds that became a Cack-cophony.cac-fly3cac-fly4cac-fly5Once again, here are the geese’s tormentors and sometimes their fate:egl-tree2

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