We found some Canadian geese while at camp this weekend . The weather wasn’t wonderful but it wasn’t awful either. At this time of the year, activity is just beginning around the lake. The more hardy of us—or is it foolhardy?— head out just as soon as the ice is out and the roads open and others make Memorial Day weekend their summer starting point. Still ,others will show up around July 4th. It’s always enjoyable to visit with friends and neighbors that we don’t get to see in the winter.
While we are at camp, we love to poke around to see what wildlife we can find. I put up my hummingbird feeders and within an hour, I had one visit the nest. This weekend, we found loons, common mergansers and some Canadian geese in the lake. So far, the loons don’t seem to be nesting but we always enjoy hearing their haunting calls. We have seen many mergansers on the lake but I don’t remember the male being so colorful. A little later in the season, it is fun to watch the mama merganser with about ten to fifteen little ducklings in her wake. We will save some photo’s of them for another post.
The Canadian geese were the most entertaining this weekend and I would like to share them with you. While checking to see if the loon was nesting on a favored nesting island, we discovered this little family. The momma and pappa were carefully watching over the six young fluffy gosling’s. As we were edging closer to the shore they all moved to the other side very quickly so the photo is from the back end. Sorry about that but sometimes wildlife just doesn’t want to cooperate. 😉
We continued down the lake to one of our favorite fishing spots but just as we arrived, two geese flew in front of us and settled not too far away. They were doing a lot of squawking and not moving too far away. We continued fishing—not too far from the shore, when I spotted what looked like a pile of fine feathers. Upon closer observation, it had some sticks piled under the downy feathers and one egg. The nest didn’t have much definitation and we wondered if the babies had already been born and one of them didn’t hatch or if the eggs had been stolen by a predator. We continued to fish (with no luck, I might add) and two other adult geese showed up. They were a noisy bunch and we soon drifted away from the area.
The next evening we decided to fish the same area. This time, as we drifted by the goose flew off the nest (still had not lost the flight feathers, evidently). We weren’t able to see her on the nest when we came around the corner but she sure saw us. We quickly drifted by and much to our surprise, the nest was filled with eggs. Now instead of one there were six big eggs. I took a photo as we drifted by to show the difference from the day before. Photo is a bit fuzzy but we didn’t want to stop to take the picture. Our little goose must have been very busy from the time we first saw the nest until the next evening. Note how the nest is so much more defined.here Seem the nest building process goes on while the eggs are being laid.
Canadian geese are monogamous and find a mate in their second year of life. They spend the rest of their lives together. If one dies, the remaining one may find another mate. The female lays three to eight eggs and while both geese protect the nest during incubation, the female spends the most time on the nest. Adults lose their flight feathers and can’t fly during the incubation period which is 25-28 days. The offspring fledge sometime between six to nine weeks. They stay with the parents until the spring migration and then they return to their birthplace. We will try to get an occasional photo of these two from afar and hopefully will be able to get a photo of the newly hatched chicks. Stay tuned…
UPDATE – May 24:
Checked this nest this weekend and unfortunately, the eggs were all broken. Looks like a predator got them. This is what the nest looked like when we saw it last. I posted a bit about what may have eaten the eggs on another post. Click HERE to read it.
Sad but that’s nature. Hopefully, she will do better next year.