With spring comes new life in all shapes and sizes, and invariably, at some point, some of those new lives will need a little extra help.
This time of year, wildlife centers are inundated with baby critters of all types. Obviously, the best solution is for locals to know how to put baby birds back in nests, determine whether or not animals are injured and be able to tell if the babies are old enough to be venturing out on their own, but plenty of babies still make their way to rescues.
Hawk, 6, and his dad Pete looked around for the gosling’s parents, but they were nowhere to be found.
Pete then called the Willowbrook Wildlife Center while Hawk kept an eye on the baby bird and made sure it didn’t go into the street.
“Willowbrook Wildlife Center has reached the limit of the number of orphaned Eastern cottontails, mallard ducklings, and Canada goslings that we can humanely care for without compromising animal welfare at this time,” the group posted on Wednesday.
“We are limited in enclosure space, personnel and other resources necessary for the humane and correct rearing and rehabilitation of these wild animals. We can still accept injured or adults of any of these species. We can be of assistance to help locate other licensed wildlife rehabilitators or to provide humane euthanasia. Thanks for your understanding.”
Though they were at capacity and couldn’t take the little goose in, they were able to give Pete and Hawk some advice about what to do.
According to Annette Prince of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, geese parents are open to welcoming new goslings into the fold if they’re close to the size of their babies, but it’s always best to contact experts first to ensure you know what kind of baby you’re working with and how to best help.
Father and son picked up the lone gosling and set out to hunt for a family with babies of a similar size. When they found a group with babies about the size of their gosling, they got out, walked to a safe distance from the group and released their little birdie charge.
The gosling ran up to the adult geese, and the geese ran up to the gosling and immediately ushered it into their group. It was a win for the father and son.
“They ran to him,” Hawk said. “And the, the baby goose ran to them. And then he got adopted. I was really happy.”
“Did you know that Geese families will happily adopt orphaned geese?! Now you know!” Maria Commerford posted on Sunday. “Willowbrook Wildlife Center helped us out yesterday when Hawk found a baby at a super busy intersection!
“So proud of Hawk for caring so much & Pete for spending easily 2 hours helping him help the goose!! ALWAYS contact a wildlife center with a picture to make sure you match them with the right family!!”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.