Emma Foster’s Directionally Challenged Goose

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose by Emma Foster

Once there was a large Canadian goose named Walter. He lived in the north beside a little pond, and he went south for the winter. Sometimes he got lost because he didn’t know which way was North and which way was South. Walter was directionally challenged. On the times he did not get lost, he usually stayed by the beach where it was warm.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) ©USFWS

Is That South?

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Or Is That South?

Walter loved to stay by his little pond because it had just the right amount of grass, the water was always cool, and he always had plenty to eat. After successfully making his way back to the pond after flying south for the winter, Walter looked forward to relaxing in the warm spring sun. However, he noticed that it was a bit colder than he remembered it being at that time of year.

Walter started thinking. Maybe he had come back too early or maybe he had come back too late and it was already winter again. A few moments later it started to snow, and Walter began to shiver. He decided that he would just have to go back south for the rest of the winter, though he first had to figure out which way South was again. After thinking for another minute in the snow, Walter soared into the sky and began flying, nearly running into a few trees in the process.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Kent Nickel

After flying for what felt like hours, Walter thought that the air seemed a bit warmer. He didn’t know if he was South yet because he hadn’t found a beach or anything. Eventually, however, he found a large lake that seemed like the perfect place to spend the winter. Walter dove down toward the lake, skimming down to what he thought was water.

Bang! Walter flew straight into a giant garage door then tumbled down toward the water. The garage door was so close to the lake that Walter accidentally misdirected his flight by a few feet. He felt fine, but he decided to lie there for a few minutes before getting up. After a while, he fell asleep.

When Walter woke up, he realized he was in a small cage. He flailed about trying to get out. He was afraid because he didn’t know where he was, but he was able to calm down when a lady came in and gave him some food. Walter noticed a while later that his foot was bandaged.

Canadian Goose with injured foot

Walter stayed at the veterinary clinic for a few days while his foot healed. When he was able to walk a little better, he waddled around the clinic, where he met new people. The veterinarians at the clinic always said hello when Walter wandered into the front lobby, and he always had plenty to eat. He grew very comfortable at the clinic because he was never lonely.

A few days later, some of the vets took Walter to the lake where he had attempted to land earlier and set him free. For a while, he kept following them back to the truck because he didn’t want them to leave.

When the truck pulled away, Walter sat by the lake, sad. After a few minutes of thinking, he suddenly came up with a good idea. He flew up into the air, swooped down, and hit the same garage door again, though this time lightly enough so that he wouldn’t get injured as badly.

The veterinarians came back and took him to the clinic, even though Walter was perfectly fine this time. The vets at the clinic ultimately decided to let Walter stay since he liked it there so much, and Walter was very happy now because he didn’t have to worry about which way was South and which way was North.


Lee’s Addition:

Wow! Emma. Another great story. This is very interesting, especially because of all the birds that are migrating north now. I hope there aren’t any other “directionally challenged” birds facing Walter’s dilemma.

Maybe Walter should have prayed and read Psalm 143:8 before he travels.

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk [FLY], for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (Psalms 143:8 KJV)

See Bird Tales For More of Emma’s Stories

 

 

Waterman Bird Collection – Part I

BJU Waterman Bird Collection 2018

In Huge Bugs and Critters, the Waterman Bird Collection, in the Science building, was introduced. This post will start introducing you to these wonderfully preserved specimens of birds that lived over a hundred years ago.

BJU Bird Collection 2018

At first, it bothered me about the use of birds in this manner, even though many museums have displays of birds. Yet, when you look back 100 plus years, they didn’t have the technology, nor the modern color cameras or slow motion videos to capture images of them.

How to study birds, a practical guide (1910) Black and White Photos ©WikiC

John Audubon did excellent drawings, with detailed colors. He studied live birds and specimens to discover their designs and colors.

“John James Audubon’s Birds of America is a portal into the natural world. Printed between 1827 and 1838, it contains 435 life-size watercolors of North American birds (Havell edition), all reproduced from hand-engraved plates, and is considered to be the archetype of wildlife illustration.” Birds of America

When the Lord first created the birds, there were no specimens until sin entered. How must those first birds have appeared? Photos, movies, and even specimens would have given us quite a sight. Today, we have fossils, but they do not show the beautiful feathers and features that those original avian wonders must have been adorned with.

“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)

Common Eider, Bufflehead, and Canada Goose

The birds in the right hand side of the display above is where we will begin. On the top shelf is an Eider, a Bufflehead and a Goose. It is nice to see them together to get a size perspective. All of these three birds are in the Anatidae Family.

Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) BJU Bird Collection 2018

The Common Eider (pronounced /ˈaɪ.dər/) (Somateria mollissima) is a large (50–71 cm (20–28 in) in body length) sea-duck that is distributed over the northern coasts of Europe, North America and eastern Siberia. It breeds in Arctic and some northern temperate regions, but winters somewhat farther south in temperate zones, when it can form large flocks on coastal waters. It can fly at speeds up to 113 km/h (70 mph) Part of the Anatidae Family. Common Eider – Wikipedia and a Cool Fact from  All About Birds

  • The oldest recorded Common Eider was a male, and at least 22 years, 7 months old, when he was found in eastern Canada.

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) BJU Bird Collection 2018

The Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) is a small sea duck of the genus Bucephala, the goldeneyes. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Anas albeola.

The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek boukephalos, “bullheaded”, from bous, “bull ” and kephale, “head“, a reference to the oddly bulbous head shape of the species. The species name albeola is from Latin albus, “white”. The English name is a combination of buffalo and head, again referring to the head shape. This is most noticeable when the male puffs out the feathers on the head, thus greatly increasing the apparent size of the head. Bufflehead – Wikipedia, and a Cool Fact from Bufflehead – All About Birds

  • The Bufflehead nests almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) BJU Bird Collection 2018

The photo shows how much larger the Goose is than the Bufflehead.

The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a large wild goose species with a black head and neck, white cheeks, white under its chin, and a brown body. Native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, its migration occasionally reaches northern Europe. It has been introduced to the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands. Like most geese, the Canada goose is primarily herbivorous and normally migratory; it tends to be found on or close to fresh water. Canada Goose Canada Goose – Wikipedia and a Cool Fact from Canada Goose – All About Birds

  • The oldest known wild Canada Goose was a female, and at least 33 years, 3 months old when she was shot in Ontario in 2001. She had been banded in Ohio in 1969.

I trust you will enjoy meeting the various birds through this series. The links provided give much more information, and photos of these species.

“The works of the LORD are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them.” (Psalms 111:2 NKJV)

 

Susie And The Water-skiing Contest

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Susie And The Water-skiing Contest

~ by Emma Foster

High in North America, as summer was coming, there lived a flock of Canadian geese. They all lived together by a large lake. One of the Canadian geese was named Susie, and she loved to swim in the water every day.

On a particularly hot day, Susie was out on the water when she spotted a group of people in a boat. One person was driving the boat very quickly around the lake. Another person was holding onto a rope and riding along the water on a board of some kind.

Susie was very interested in this new sport she had discovered. She decided to call all of the geese together to watch the people.

When all of the geese had watched the people for a few minutes, they grew very excited. They decided to play the same game too, only they would have to build everything from scratch.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) On Shed ©Flickr Darron Birgwnheler

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) On Shed ©Flickr Darron Birgwnheler

In an old shed in the backyard of one of the houses by the lake, Susie and the other geese found a long, thin piece of wood, an old rope, a canoe covered in cobwebs, and a few fishhooks. The geese shoved a hook into the back side of the boat and into the piece of wood, and tied the rope to both hooks. One goose sat down in the boat to direct it, four more geese stood behind the canoe to cast it off and push along in the water, and Susie stood on the piece of wood, bending down to hold the rope in her beak in case the hook came off. Another goose stood in the back of the boat to make sure that the hook in the boat did not come out either.

After taking off, the four geese started flying so that Susie was dragged behind them on the piece of wood. It took several attempts before Susie could stay on the board, but by the end of the day she was able to do a few tricks.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) ©WikiC

The Four Canadian Geese and two friends that joined them. ©WikiC

The next day, one of the geese came back to announce he had seen a flyer for a water skiing contest at the end of the week at that very pond. Susie immediately decided that she and the other geese should enter. It was only Tuesday, so they had plenty of time to practice. Susie wanted to make sure she could pull off all of the tricks she had seen the people do when they were on the lake.

By that Friday, Susie and all of the other geese had had enough practice so that they were able to accomplish all of the tricks. The geese even invented some of their own.

On that Saturday Susie, the geese, and lots of different people met on the lake and the contest began. A few people went before Susie and the other geese. They were really good and were able to perform all kinds of tricks. Finally, it was Susie’s turn. She jumped onto the piece of wood while the other geese got to their positions.

"They Were Off" - Canada Goose ©Pixabay

“They Were Off” – Canada Goose ©Pixabay

Then they were off! Susie did her best to perform all of the tricks she had practiced. This time, she tried to jump higher in the air when she performed one. One of the tricks was when Susie did a flip in the air after jumping the ramp and flying for about ten feet. Once Susie had completed her routine, she skidded onto the grass sticking the landing perfectly. Everyone cheered.

At the end of the contest, a blue ribbon was awarded to Susie and the geese. From then on, Susie entered the contest every year, and she always kept the blue ribbon pinned to the back of the shed where they had found the piece of wood, hooks, rope, and canoe.


Lee’s Addition:

Thanks, Emma, for another great bird tale. You just keep improving and each one becomes your best. This is definitely one of “your best.”

The teamwork and ingenuity by that group of geese reminds me of these verses:

Now the company of believers was of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything which he possessed was [exclusively] his own, but everything they had was in common and for the use of all. (Acts 4:32 AMP)

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. (Psalms 34:3 KJV)

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; (Acts 2:44 KJV)

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Emma Foster’s Other Tales

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Bird Tales

Canada Goose – Wikipedia

ABC’s of the Gospel

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