Friday, May 20, 2011

Canada Goose Family


Canada Geese mate the second year and are monogamous throughout their lives, but if a mate is lost, the remaining goose will find another mate. They breed earlier in the season than most birds. The goslings usually hatch when the plants are at their highest nutritional value. Those residing in temperate climates begin nesting as soon as the conditions are favorable. Those nesting further north start in late April or early May.

Most nest sites are located near water. The sites chosen offer protection from the wind while still giving the female a clear line of sight. The nest is usually built in a depression on the ground and lined with soft grass and feathers.

A clutch usually consists of 4 to 8 eggs. Both parents assume responsibility for protecting the nest and incubating the eggs, but the female spends more time incubating the eggs. She will leave the nest long enough to feed and bathe before returning to her brood. During the incubation phase (25 to 28 days), the adults molt, losing their flight feathers and cannot fly.

Newly hatched Canada Geese are covered with a yellow down.

The gosling's down gives way to feathers and usually fledge (fly) between 6 and 9 weeks of age. The family unit remains together until the spring migration.

Females always return to their place of origin, nesting close to where they hatched.

The family unit stays together with the female leading, goslings following along in a row with the gander bringing up the rear. This arrangement is often called a crèche. Both parents protect their young, becoming violent when necessary.


23 comments:

Janet said...

What wonderful parents they are - loved these photographs Denise !

Don't unplug your hub said...

Great photos Denise, and very informative post.

Roy said...

Lovely photos Denise.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Thank you for this informative post. The pictures accompanying the information provided were good too.

MyMaracas said...

Well, you're right about that "violent" part. I've been run outta Dodge more than once by irate geese who didn't want their kids' pictures taken.

Great information and lovely photos. (I do love Canada geese.)

Mama-Bug said...

What a sweet little family! Great photos Denise; thanks for sharing.

Pauline said...

That is a totally delightful post. Beautiful photos and lovely text combine to tell a lovely story.

diane b said...

A great post and fabulous shots to illustrate your info. The animal world is truly amazing. Some humans could take a lesson from these geese.

Valerie said...

Remarkable pictures, and I liked your header pic too. I haven't seem any goslings yet this year, I think they go into hiding whenever I appear with my camera.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Denise, while I can say that Canada Geese are not my favorite to see around ponds, their dvotion to family and mate is commendable and they do have really cute offspring too. Thanks for all the background info and photos.

Jane and Chris said...

Canada geese are excellent parents and foster parents. If orphaned goslings are secretly placed with parents with their own goslings, the adults accept them as their own.
Jane x

Sandra said...

i would love to see these precious babies. wonderful find

Out on the prairie said...

The largest family i have seen was 19, amazing to watch each day swimming in a row.

Celeste said...

We are starting to see the goslings around here now, they are so sweet when they are little bundles of yellow fluff :)

Cezar and Léia said...

These pictures are magnificent, I love this FAMILY!The babies are just gorgeous, thanks so much for sharing!
Hugs
Léia

imac said...

Real cute.

Margaret Cloud said...

Such cute babies, I love to see them when they swim. The facts were interesting to know, thanks.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Denise, on Friday I was having lunch at work by the lake, and saw a family just like this one. I think it is awesome how geese mate for life and the male and female partners are always together.

BTW,,,love you peonies as well.

Kay said...

This is so cute! That is a whole lot of goslings!

Lyn said...

Those goslings area adorable!
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a lovely comment.
Love
Lyn
xxx

Mary said...

Ahhhhhhh....the babes are so cute! I'd love to pick one up and hold it and see how fuzzy they are :-) They look so intent as they peck at the grass and imitate mom and dad.

i beati said...

too darling I'd sit all day

Stephany said...

The little goslings are just darling! I've been chased by geese a few times in my life. :)