An Arctic goose fell a few thousand miles short of its destination and wound up in a Southern California park, wildlife rescuers reported.
A tundra bean goose was rescued Nov. 22 from Magic Johnson Park in Los Angeles after birdwatchers reported it appeared to be injured, the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center said in a news release.
“But why is this arctic bird here in Southern California? How wacky is this,” the Huntington Beach-based rescue said.
As their name implies, the birds are normally found in the chilly Arctic and have only been spotted a dozen times in the lower 48, mostly in northern states, the organization said.
Observers first spotted the wayward goose in March at Piute Ponds in the high desert, a popular stopover for migrating birds, the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center said.
Then it was seen at Apollo Park in Lancaster near Los Angeles before arriving at Magic Johnson Park, rescuers said.
At the request of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the organization captured the goose for a medical checkup.
X-rays may have found the reason the goose failed to complete its journey home.
“The Bean has been shot with a BB and there is a healed fracture,” rescuers said. “Hmmm, most likely why this goose didn’t migrate.”
The organization said its veterinarian will “evaluate the best option for this rare visitor from the north.”