Goose Family

Goose Family
Around the 1st of April a mating pair of Canadian geese built a nest in one of the large planters at one of my buildings. Over the next few days the female laid six eggs. By law you cannot disturb nesting geese, so we put traffic cones around the planter. The gestation period for geese is roughly a month, so we waited patiently into early May. I was worried that the three foot fall onto concrete may be too risky for the newborn goslings, so I built a ramp and carefully slid it up to the edge of the planter.
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Mother goose was a trooper, sitting on the nest diligently, through snow storms, with snow piling up on her back; keeping the eggs dry during rain showers; and insulating them from the harsh sun on hot days. She’d only get up occasionally to eat or drink and would always cover up the eggs.
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That first week of May was really starting to drag, as I was holding off the grounds crews from planting new flowers in the planters and turning on the irrigation, but eventually there was success. You could tell there was a lot of activity under mother goose as she kept squirming. One by one the goslings hatched and worked their way to their mother’s side. In the end there were four, with another two eggs that never hatched.
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Goslings can walk and feed themselves immediately after hatching, and leave the nest in a day or two. My co-worker found them at a nearby pond a few blocks away in the following days. There were only three of them, so maybe one did not make it. Considering fox and coyotes roam the area at night and all the traffic the geese would have had to cross to get to the pond, three out of four is pretty good odds. When I look at this whole process in nature it always amazes me that newborns make it at all. Life marches on.
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