Well, well. I have to go back a little for this one. You know the story about Margaret and Arthur by now. They seem to be mates. They go everywhere together. But, at this time, I have to say that I've been noticing that Margaret seems to be fairly aggressive to others. She attacks when Arthur and Ferdi attack. She can get as shrill as they can. That got me wondering. Why? Ginger shies from conflict. Margaret runs right up to it.
Then last week, before it snowed like the dickens again, I was working in the pond, digging it out. The geese are very calm with me, so they just do what they do. It's a great time to watch them and see how they behave. Well, Margaret and Ferdi got into a bit of a row. Ferdi was digging in the bottom of the pond with his beak and Margaret was intentionally getting in his way. Then a bunch of snapping ensued, and I'll be damned, Margaret tried to mount Ferdi. She grabbed him by his wing and pulled and pulled and swung her leg over and tried to climb on top.
This befuddled me, to say the least. Knowing what I know about geese (which is quite a lot, but no means everything), I was really taken aback. Nothing I know about females would have a female mounting a male for dominance. Ever. Females are the ones who take the high road and just walk away. Ginger is proof of that. But Margaret gets right into the middle. So that got me wondering again, is Margaret a Margaret??
I really didn't know what to do. So I sent an email to the man who would know, David Holderread. He is the expert beyond experts, and I would trust his knowledge. I laid out the whole situation for him--she's shrill too, she can be aggressive, she mounted Ferdi--and asked, if he had just a minute, could he please help me out?? I really didn't expect an answer. The man is busy. He breeds beautiful geese and is the expert on them bar-none. But today, I got one.
Well, holy shit. Margaret is not a Margaret. He said that there would be no way that a female would ever mount a male, and it's his opinion that they are two males instead. So what about them being mates? Obviously not. But I believe they were raised together, and therefore are used to one another. That is probably why they get along and they seem to be a "pair". And before you ask, yes, Arthur is DEFINITELY an Arthur. I've seen the--ahem--proof myself.
So what to do? Gotta change the name, obviously. Anyone got a suggestion? But what about mates? Right now it's only Ginger who's a female and she's outnumbered. I don't know if they will go after her right now, because she's not really sexually mature, but some day she will be. And then it will be 3 against one. Not to mention the other two pairs that are coming in March. Yikes. So do we become a 10 goose house and get a girl for Arthur and .....? Or let there be two boys by themselves and see what happens? I am slightly befuddled. Too many males is not a good thing when it comes to geese.
Oh boy. Opinions here would be welcomed. Even if you don't know anything about geese whatsoever, I'd still love to hear from you.