The Unlikely Friendship of the Goose and the Deer

Have you seen this story? Another amazing example of the amazing and unlikely friendships that happen in nature. A goose who has lost her mate is currently nesting in an urn in a cemetery and this deer has established himself as protector. Click here for a video of the story and here is the printed story from

The Story of the Goose & Deer

It’s a scene right out of a Disney movie, mother goose has lost her lifelong mate and is now left alone to create and tend to her nest in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY.  She spends the day sheltering her eggs from the cool spring air inside an empty urn she has chosen as home.

The loss of her male partner and guardian now makes her vulnerable to any would-be predators that choose to approach the nest.  But, in an unlikely twist of fate, an adult deer has befriended the mother goose, taking over the role of protector.

This animal arrangement is highly unusual, since there’s no known way that a deer and goose can communicate. Yet somehow the deer has come to understand the need of the nesting mother.

 Mark Carra is a naturalist in residence with the Buffalo Audubon Society site at Beaver Meadows in North Java, Wyoming County. Carra says this type of bonding between animals may happen more than we realize. He cites the example of a crow watching over a kitten several years ago. Carra also theorizes that there may have been a previous connection between the deer and the goose that we just don’t know about. It could be the deer lost its mother while young and the goose helped it out.

Carra also applauds the installation of the web-cam saying people may be curious. But if they approach too close they may spook the deer and cause problems. They could also provoke the goose on her nest. He cites examples of bald eagles simply choosing to abandon a nest with eggs because people got too close while trying to watch with binoculars.

The deer now spends its days near the urn acting as guardian when needed.  As passersby approach the area the deer stands and places itself between the person and the nesting goose.  On one occasion the deer even took a protective stance attempting to fend off a barking dog near the area of the urn.

Craig Cygan owner of Borders on Patrol, a company hired to move the goose flock from time to time says a goose would normally attempt to fend off the deer with loud honks and raised wings especially near the nest.  This one, he says seems to like the company.

How this nature story ends is anyone’s guess, but now we can all watch as the goose and deer spend time together.

Meteorologist Andy Parker


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