The family of geese swimming in the pond to the back of my house continues to appear at most hours of the day, but whereas in the beginning there were four goslings, now there are only three. What has become of the fourth offspring is a mystery. It might have died a natural death, but I saw no indication of illness or disability affecting any of the four. More likely, the missing gosling became a meal for a predator. If so, the hostile animal would have had to have been quite large to withstand the attacks of the gander and goose. I’ve watched them chase away other birds who have come near the goslings. They’re quite ferocious. I wouldn’t want to tangle with them.
The three remaining goslings are growing at a surprising rate. They’re now nearly twice the size they were when I first spotted them. But they’re still the dirty yellow color they were when they first appeared. No sign yet of the lack heads with white cheeks that characterize their parents.
If the fourth gosling was eaten, there’s some likelihood others will be, too. I’ll watch the family closely and see what happens.