Barnacle goose with neck stuck in plastic tube...

I had a rare morning pass on Saturday, and got out to the reserve by 7.30 - what a fantastic morning! Cold, but with glorious blue skies and a warming sun - proper weather for a Scot. Anyway - I'm sure you're aware but there was a Canada goose on the washes with a red plastic tube stuck around its neck. It still seemed to be feeding, but was obviously bothered by the thing which was apparently starting to constrict its movement, if not its swallowing. Would it be worth trying to trap it and remove the tube?
  • Alastair,   It isn't stuck but is a neck collared Goose.  The neck is collared rather than simply sticking a ring on its leg.  It will be part of a movement study or similar.  If you can read the collar number in a photo report it to BTO.

    In my area there is big study going on with Exeter university and 200 or so Canadas have been collared in the Water Park.  To date they haven't been found as far away as Suffolk but just in case ours will have a 2 letter code reading bottom to top.

    The Cotswold Water park sightings website

    My Flicker page

  • In reply to Bob Philpott:

    I haven't seen that done before - I must confess I feel uncomfortable just looking at it, even though I can appreciate that it's easier to see than a leg ring.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to Clare:

    Clare / Alastair, Geese here have been wearing collars for about 3 years now and it has never yet interfered with swallowing etc.   The neck of a goose is actually quite thin and most of what you can see is feathers.

    The Cotswold Water park sightings website

    My Flicker page

  • In reply to Bob Philpott:

    I'm relieved to hear that, Bob.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to Bob Philpott:

    Hi Bob,

    I can't remember for sure, but I think this had a 3-letter code on it, reading left-to-right. Something with a letter A in it. I gotta say I share Claire's discomfort - although the bird seemed able to go about its business, it clearly didn't like the ring - it was frequently trying to touch it with its bill...

  • In reply to Clare:

    Thanks Bob, for clearing that one up!  

    Just to add a bit more, the Canada goose with the neck collar would have been ringed by the BTO at the Nunnery in Thetford, where they use red collars, with a a combination of three letters. We had one here on 12 March (AAH), which had been collared at the Nunnery, then seen at Pentney Gravel Pits last September, before turning up here.  This could be the same bird.

    Collaring geese has been going on for many years, and there have been no ill effects on geese as far as I know.  It does look a bit uncomfortable but it is very lightweight, and the geese do get used to wearing them.  When I first started with the RSPB in 2001, I used to spend hours going through pink-footed geese flocks at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg in North East of Scotland looking for collars!  When the same ones turned up year after year, it was like seeing an old friend!    

  • In reply to Katherine:

    I'm glad to hear from Clare that this is a matter of discarded waste. Unfortunately, it's not always good news - I've attached a photo that I took in 2013. I suspect that there wasn't a good outcome to this, despite reporting it to the seal warden
  • In reply to Katherine:

    If anyone is interested, have a look on the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust website (monitoring.wwt.org.uk/.../colour-marking).  Some of their studies into wild goose populations have been using neck collars since the 1980's.