WILD GEESE –
There is a charming children’s book, The BIG SNOW, written by Berta and Elmer Hader and awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1949…
The story is about how woodland animals prepare for winter, beginning with Mrs. Cottontail and the littlest rabbit staring at the flock of Wild Geese as they begin their flight south.
The Wild Geese are a natural signal that rabbits must eat lots of cabbage leaves and carrot tops in order to grow a thick coat for winter.
The Wild Geese and their Honk-Honk-Honk flight signal the ground hog and Mrs. Chipmunk to get ready for winter, as well as blue jays, cardinals, sparrows and blue birds… wood rats, pheasants, crows, squirrels, deer and so many other animals and birds.
The Wild Geese fly. The light of day gets shorter. A rainbow appears around the moon…
And it snows a BIG SNOW.
When the sun rises again, a little old woman scatters seeds and nuts and breadcrumbs and the animals gather for her good tidings.
When the ground hog awakens in February, he signals that there’s a bit more winter to come… a winter signal just as important as the autumn signal of the Wild Geese flying south.
What we discover in The BIG SNOW is the marvel of nature and the instincts of animals.
But what is the real tweet-tweet on Wild Geese in real-life ? Here are a few little tidbits to pass along to your kids and grandkids to combine literature and life:
– Geese migrate in distinctive aerodynamic V or U formations. This pattern allows for wing tip vortex of the front bird, and each behind bird saves energy by drag reduction.
– Geese can cover 1,500 miles in a good wind.
– Geese have been know to migrate 2,000 – 3,000 miles.
– The Geese call is a HONK-HONK-HONK sound.
– Geese are very social birds and flock together in strong family units… except during breeding time.
– Geese mate for life and mating season is February – March. Nesting season is mid-March – mid-May.
– Geese begin to nest at age 3 and generally return to their birth area to mate and nest. Sometimes Geese mate at the exact site of their birth.
– Nests are usually built close to the ground. The female Goose lays 5 or so eggs on each of 5 days and incubates for 28 – 30 days. The male Goose stand watch over the female and their eggs.
– Goose eggs in a nest is called a clutch.
– Baby Geese are called goslings.
– Geese live to be 20 – 25 years old.
Ah. Wild Geese in real-life.
Reading the story of the Wild Geese and the animals in The BIG SNOW with your kids and grandkids, with a little knowledge of Wild Geese in real-life, gives you so much to discuss… and your kids so much to think about as they embrace the literature.
The book The BIG SNOW gives us a great opportunity to talk with our kids about seasons, the great mystery and science of migration and hibernation… and the part of human beings in helping creatures in a BIG SNOW.
Maybe you can begin a little storage bin of seeds, nuts, breadcrumbs and treats for a BIG SNOW to come!
Join me here each day in August for AUGUST TWEET-TWEETS on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! A little fun, a little learning and a bit of “tweet-tweet”!