Alaska’s North Slope can be quite an uninviting place. Commonly called ‘The Slope’, much of Alaska’s arctic climate has no trees, no hills, and is wrought with extremes such as high winds, some of the coldest weather in the state, and an overall moisture that is drier than the Sahara Desert. At the heart of America’s largest oilfield in Prudhoe Bay, thousands of migratory birds call the North Slope home in the summertime and utilize the area as their nesting grounds. A myriad of seabirds, geese, ducks, and other migratory birds flock to the area, some arriving well before the snow melts, and bear the brunt of this harsh climate. All this aside, the biggest threat to these birds and their offspring are both the Red and Arctic Fox. As the video below shows, a White Fronted Goose can put up a good fight against a Red Fox, who you would think would have the upper hand.
Thousands of Alaskans are employed in various oilfield service jobs in the Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Alpine, Endicott, and other remote fields and Alaska resident Jake Till is no different. While working near the Main Construction Camp (MCC), Jake captured the video below:
A greater white fronted goose, sometimes called a ‘speckled belly goose’ guards its new goslings from the attack of a red fox looking for an easy meal. It is suspected that this is a mating pair of geese with the male being the first line of defense while the female guards her young. Geese may seem fairly benign from a power and ferocity standpoint, but the leading edge of their wings do carry some command when they use their wings to strike, which can be seen in the video above. Much of what this greater white fronted goose is doing is simply blocking access to the goslings from the fox, but those in the birding community have reported that the geese commonly use the bones in their wings as striking implements, hitting with their wrists like a ball-peen hammer, favoring this before striking with their beaks.
While both very cute, the White Fronted Goose and the Red Fox can both put up a fight.
Check out this other video of an Alaskan Black Bear as he cleverly scales a barbed wire fence: