I recently viewed an incredible video. Produced by the BBC and part of a nature series entitled Life Story, the short film follows the harrowing descent of a barnacle gosling from its nest high up in the cliffs of eastern Greenland.
Barnacle geese build their nests hundreds of feet up to avoid predators such as Arctic foxes. But as the geese eat only grass, and since geese parents don’t feed their young, the only way for the goslings to survive is to cliff dive 400 feet to the grassy feeding grounds below.
Urged by its mother’s distinctive call to make this alarming leap of faith, the film shows a three-day-old gosling reluctantly leaving its nest to drop, roll and tumble down the cliff wall. Battered and stunned, but alive, the courageous gosling is reunited with its parents on the isolated slope below.