Canadian geese have been migrating overhead for a few weeks by now. In the past 20 years, I’ve not seen or heard many lone geese. Yes, there’s frequently a straggler in the V formation and I’ve become familiar with the adolescent rebel straying out to the side, as if to say, “Hey, look at me, guys!”
This fall has seen a few solitary geese. I felt really bad for each, imagining it lost, confused, honking loudly, desperate in its search for its particular family.
Good news, people! No need to be troubled. It’s not unusual at all for one of the big birds to find itself without a gaggle. It takes to the skies, yes, communicating loudly to other geese in the area and they join up. Just like that. A new community welcomes the lone goose or gander. What a relief.
Something else came through, though, as I sought to understand if a lone goose was in distress, having found itself away from its tribe. When one of its kind is injured, sick, or dying, that bird is not alone. Two or three geese stay with the weakened friend until it either gains strength or dies. In the case of a death, the companions hang out a while and then look to find a new V. Sad, but sweet.
Fall is definitely my favorite time of year, and the traveling geese a treasure.