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Grief-stricken goose mourns loss at Dollar General

Store employee bonds with widowed waterfowl

May 29, 2012|by Jerry Jacob

NIXA, Mo. --  An apparently widowed goose has incorporated Nixa's Dollar General into its grieving process.  The female Canada goose (also known as a "Candadian goose") has become a lone fixture at the store off Highway 160 for the past six weeks.

Ruby Sims. an employee of the Dollar General store at Highway 160 and Tracker Road, says the goose she calls "Gussie" meets her at her car every morning when she arrives at work.  Gussie, separated from her flock, then stays around the Dollar General parking lot all day, taking donations of bread and water from whomever offers. 

Canada geese are family-oriented, mate for life, and are renowned for their remarkable mourning process that often accompanies the loss of their mate.  That process can include sequestering itself from the flock, weight loss, and signs of submission to other geese for several weeks following its mate’s death.

These birds usually accept new mates, often with other previously paired birds, but the triumph ceremonies of these new relationships are less vigorous than triumph ceremonies of first-time mated pairs.

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Canada geese without triumph ceremony partners exhibit tell-tale movements. These loners can be seen swimming or walking with their necks angled forward as if looking for lost mates. In flight, lone birds call plaintively for unknown partners.

More information about behavior of Canada geese can be found HERE.

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