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GUEST,Ian cookieless BS: Ornithological question (16) RE: BS: Ornithological question 18 Aug 08

Thanks, Jack, for the tip-off about geese (as I have it in the back of my mind that the writer of the song cannot surely have just made it up - it must be based on *something*). As a result, I found this, part of which reads as follows:

"Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Konrad Lorenz, Father of the Greylag geese, devoted his lifetime to the study of geese. In [his book] 'The Year of the Greylag Goose' ... According to Dr. Lorenz, geese possess a veritably human capacity for grief. In his conversations with laymen, he would frequently say, "Animals are much less intelligent than you are inclined to think, but in their feelings and emotions they are far less different from us than you assume." Quite literally, a man, a dog, and a goose hang their heads, lose their appetites, and become indifferent to all stimuli emanating from the environment. For grief-striken human beings, as well as for geese, one effect is that they become outstandingly vulnerable to accidents; they tend to fly into high-tension cables or fall prey to predators because of their reduced alertness.

After the death of his beloved mate, Ado attached himself to Dr. Lorenz. According to Dr. Lorenz, "...Ado would shyly creep up after me, his body hunched in sadness, and he would remain motionless about 25 or 30 feet away." Ado spent the remainder of the year sad and isolated.

There have been reports of pair bonds that are so strong that if one goose is shot down by a hunter, the partner will circle back. Drawn by its need to stay with its lifelong companion, the single goose will often ignore the sound of shooting and return to die with its mate."

Interesting. It seems I have my answer. Unless any of you think "There have been reports ..." is undocumented and romantic heresay?

Thanks, all.


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