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Arctic Geese Chicks Jump Off Cliff to Survive | Hostile Planet


– [Narrator] Spring
has arrived here early. (serene music)
(wind rustling) And that’s bad news for the barnacle geese that breed in these mountains. Many nests have failed but not this one. (contemplative music) (goslings chirping) Three chicks, they’re
lucky to have made it. Forced by the early spring, the parents rushed their migration. They arrived exhausted. The female sat on the eggs for 25 days. (goslings chirping and squeaking) She’s lost 30 percent of her body weight. But for this family the greatest
challenge is still to come. (reverberating crashing) (goose honking) The parents chose to nest
on this 400 foot pinnacle. (dramatic music) It’s the only way to avoid predators. (bird calling) Just one problem. The grass they eat is a
mile away, by the river. (honking) And barnacle geese can’t
feed their young in the nest. If the chicks don’t feed within
36 hours, they’ll starve. (chirping and chittering) And these chicks won’t be
able to fly for another month. The parents are living proof. There is a solution. (honking) Just not an easy one. (ominous music) Dad leads the way. (honking) But the chicks are
instinctively bonded to mom. Where she goes, they follow. (honking) (tense music) (dramatic music) Incredibly it survived. But it’s stunned and
now dangerously exposed. (raven calling)
(suspenseful music) (goose honking) (hissing and cawing) (goose honking) (somber music) One chick gone. Now hope rests with the other two. (chirping) (tense music) The back of the spire is a shorter drop. (dramatic music) But it’s much harder to avoid the rocks. For this chick there will be no escape. The third and last surviving chick. (chirping)
(honking) (dramatic music) (chirping) (suspenseful music) (chirping and honking) The snow cushions the
impact but offers no grip. (goose honking)
(gosling chirping) (hopeful music) Only around 50 percent of
chicks hatched on these cliffs make it through the first month. With the seasons
increasingly unpredictable, fewer chicks will survive. (gentle music) But this chick at least
has defied the odds. (honking)

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