Lone honker units ‘Goosewatcher’ file, but was it a hoax?




FAIRBANKS — The idea of geese arriving in Fairbanks as early as April 1 used to just be an April Fools’ Day joke. No more. In current years, spring has come in advance, making the idea of the first goose arrival in early April — or maybe past due March — likely instead of absurd.
This 12 months, the legit arrival date of the first Canada goose turned into 3:51 p.M. Saturday. The date, March 30, is the earliest date for the appearance of the primary goose, breaking the record of April 2, set in 2016 and 2010.
But the new document comes with an asterisk. There is simplest circumstantial evidence the hen become a wild migrating goose and not a domesticated goose. In the beyond, local pranksters have sometimes released domesticated ducks to play with the gullibility of Fairbanksans keen to peer signs of spring, said Mark Ross, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist who has saved facts of the arrival of the first goose when you consider that he started out on the department in 1996. The nation facts of first ducks sightings go back to 1976.
Ross’ commentary is used to decide the winner of the Goosewatcher contest organized with the aid of the Last Frontier Mediactive radio stations Wild ninety four.Three FM, Ted 103.9 FM and KFAR 660 AM. The listener who guesses closest to the advent time of the first goose wins $500. This yr, North Pole listener Logan Llewellyn won the prize for guessing three:50 p.M., one minute off the exact time.
Ross has been known to play goose pranks. On beyond years, particularly around April Fools’ Day, he has on occasion placed a goose decoy out inside the field.
But he’s critical approximately the March 30 sighting. He thinks it become a wild chook.
Here’s what Ross said: On Saturday nighttime at approximately
6 p.M., he was using by Creamer’s Field and stopped when he noticed a collection of approximately 10 humans looking out on the the front discipline.

 


“I saw multiple human beings status through a very massive lens camera and I knew that changed into it,” he stated.
Ross noticed the goose but didn’t get a photo of the chicken or the names of any of the other people.
“I didn’t request a image, that’s too awful,” he said.
He set the 3:51 p.M. Legitimate time based totally on what the humans informed him.
Evidence that the lone goose wasn’t a migrator includes the reality that no Canada ducks had been reported this 12 months in Delta Junction. On most years, human beings look at ducks round Clearwater Lake near Delta Junction approximately every week before they come at Creamer’s Field. As of Thursday afternoon, no extra ducks had been spotted at Creamer’s Field.
Evidence that the goose turned into a wild goose consists of the truth that Fairbanks skilled a report heat March and that other migrating birds have arrived weeks in advance of everyday, along with a ring-necked duck and a merlin. Although Ross didn’t see the hen land himself, he said the people he spoke with instructed him the chicken became flying at a excessive elevation from the east earlier than landing at the sphere, consistent with the same old migration pattern of Canada ducks.
When Ross saw it, the bird become sitting in the subject and not but assisting itself to the grain. The grain have been positioned out inside the plowed area in advance Saturday as part of an annual task that encourages the migratory ducks to come to Creamer’s Field and keep away from causing troubles at Fairbanks International Airport.




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