I made friends with Gimpy the wild goose

I live on the river and have enjoyed watching the little geese families milling around. One lot, I call them the mutant goose family, have been my favourites. They must be a cross between Canadian geese and perhaps a domestic goose. They mingle with the other Canadians and seem well accepted, but they’re a funny looking bunch.

Two of the mutants hatched 4 babies. They’re older then the other hatched Canadian off spring. I’ve started calling the mutant babies Teen Goose Squad. They’re just at the point of losing their yellow fluff and getting their markings. They’re about the size of ducks.


One of the mutant geese is this hearty bird. Perhaps 1/4 larger then the Canadians. It’s got a really gruff call - not really a “honk-honk” as much as a “hhhhhrank-hhhhhrraaank”. I’ve gotten quite fond of this guy as he really stands out.

About 3 weeks back I noticed he walks with a pretty bad limp and has started shaking his head a fair amount. I’ve kept my eye on him hoping he doesn’t get worse. In the last week or so I’ve noticed he seems to be moving around fairly well out of water so I figured he healed ok or perhaps it is a birth defect I never noticed before (he is a mutant goose after all)

Today Gimpy was down at the bank with his (her?) mate and Teen Goose Squad. About 15-20 other Canadians were there and about 10 other younger fuzzy yellow geese.

I thought it was time to introduce myself. I grab a bit of old bread (not too much as I know it’s not the best for them) and head down to the bank.

At first I was welcomed by a feisty big Canadian fella. He put his head down and gave me a hisssssss warning. I put my head down and walked towards him. He backs off a bit. I start handing out little bread bits and the mutant goose family start heading over.

Gimpy is a bit unsure of me. He stands along the edge of the group making little “unk-unk” noises. His mate Spotty however walks right over to me with the kids in tow. I offer out a few little bread pieces and they come closer. After about 5 minutes of talking quietly to them and handing out tiny bits of bread they’re eating from my hands. Gimpy is still off to the side.

One of the grouchy Canadians decides to charge one of the mutant goslings. I decided to run an interception. I walk toward the Canadian, put my head down and walked him back into the water.

That’s all it took to win Gimpy over.

I went back to the shore and squatted back down. I offered out a few more bread bits and Gimpy hobbled right over to me. He ended up with his chest pushing on my knee asking for food. Moments later I was surrounded by the entire mutant clan. Dorky, Spotty, Honky, Squaty, Bumpy and Gimpy. It was rather cool.

A couple of the little ones got so brave they walked under me between my legs. I could reach out and place my hands on their backs and they didn’t freak out. Gimpy let my run my hand down his neck and pet the front of his chest with my hand.

Of course my reason for wanting to get close to Gimpy is to check out his foot and head to see if I can see anything wrong. It was easy to get a look at his head. A few times he leaned into me and was just inches from my face. His bill and head were a bit scared up. I didn’t see any open wounds or anything that looked fresh. Perhaps the Canadians pick on him (“Honk honk. You’re an ugly goose eh.”) or he got thrashed by some critter.

I wondered how I’d take a closer look at his foot. I decided I’d see if he’d let me touch it. At one point he was facing away from me and I reached down and touched his gimp leg. He didn’t move. I lifted his leg up and he didn’t move. He just let me do it. I got a full look at his leg and bottom of his webby foot. He stood there the whole time just looking at me not worried in the least…

It was pretty cool. A wild critter allowing my to inspect him like that. Being allowed to mingle with the goose family. He never seemed bothered at all.

I spent another 10 minutes with mutant goose family before heading back up to the house.

That is just unbelievably cool! :slight_smile:

Do keep us updated, okay? Gimpy will probably be fine. I used to sometimes see a one legged goose at Deer lake and he got along quite well.

If they’re around tomorrow (they aren’t around every day) I’ll try and snap a few pictures and post them.

All of teen goose squad are really cute right now. Not all yellow, fuzzy and fluffy but sort of a dorky pre-teen age with big silly feet and little heads. They crack me up.

Another thing that struck me as odd is how gentle Gimpy was taking food from me. Most geese will do a quick grab in the general finger/food area and often catch a finger. He never did. He was very calm and gentle.

Thinking about it I’m half wondering if he was a pet at one time.

Oh, I also didn’t mention I didn’t see anything odd with his foot. It looked ok. I’m guessing it was damaged when he got the head wounds or he/she was just born gimpy.

How does one tell the sex of a goose anyway? They all look the same to me.

I love geese. Great names for them, too! Keep us posted on Gimpy.

Canada geese, not Canadian. Any questions, I’ll be at my work number.

Very cool story! Thanks for sharing it. :slight_smile:

You can always tell Canadas by their call: “Honk, eh?”

I got some pictures today.

I’m too tired at the moment to build a webpage to show them, so I posted them to a forum of a site I’m working on. In this thread I copied the text above and then posted the pictures below.


Great story, Seven. Thanks.

Those are the best goose names I have ever seen. We need to work up a treatment and get it to Disney asap.

Thanks for posting the pictures, Seven. I enjoy reading your goose tales.
We have a lot of Canada geese that winter here in Denver, and some domestic-but-now-wild geese as well. I am a bit surprised that I’ve never seen any ‘intermarriage’ between geese here–they certainly flock together.
I wonder if Gimpy was indeed a pet at one time, though some of the ‘pet’ geese I’ve met were not exactly sweet-tempered, let alone gentle.

Aww, geese!

We have a duck (a Muscovy, I think) who comes by every day for his snack. If the snack is not ready, he’ll just wait patiently until someone forks it over. And he can catch corn in mid air!

He used to have a wife and child, but they have not come back this year.

Very good goose names. My aunt owns two geese, and their names, as far as I can tell, are “The Damned geese.” They like to attack her when she feeds the chickens.

Very cool story ! I loved the pictures too . I have a soft spot for geese . Well , OK . Any animal . Still … very cool story . :smiley:

Gimpy looks rather like an African Goose or a cross with one ( a domestic breed ):



  • Tamerlane

Could also be a Snow Goose or some morph thereof. I don’t know about that bumpy head, though. Be careful around the geese - they’re all wild animals, and shouldn’t be messed with.