Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Baby Geese at Columbus Park! May 4, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Seasons,Spring — saltthesandbox @ 2:43 pm
Tags: , , , ,

During my morning walk to Columbus Park, I watched newly hatched Canada Geese eating grass beside the lagoon:

Baby Canada Geese eat grass, just like their parents.

Baby Canada Geese eat grass, just like their parents. They can walk and swim as soon as they hatch, but they can't fly.

The mother and father geese stood guard over their young:

The mother and father geese watched me and made sure I stayed far away from their babies.

The parents watched me and made sure I stayed far away from their babies.

When another goose got too close, they hissed and charged and chased it away. I stayed far enough away, so they didn’t chase me.

I counted five baby geese, which are also called “goslings.” This may be the same family of geese that was nesting in a cattail marsh by the highway for the past few weeks. If so, the babies hatched late last week and then walked at least 250 meters to the big lagoon. That also would mean that one of the six babies I saw in that nest on Friday did not make it to the lagoon. It’s a dangerous world for baby geese. Lots of things like to eat them, including Raccoons, Snapping Turtles, and the Cooper’s Hawk I saw hanging out at the lagoon this morning. (Of course, the hawk has its own nest of babies to feed.)

There are more babies on the way. So far this year I’ve found three Robin nests, a Grackle nest, and lots of House Sparrow nests in the Park. Lots of other male birds are singing, as if they are defending territories and nests.

Also, most of the female Mallards disappeared more than a week ago, although the males are still around. I suspect the Mallards have well-hidden nests scattered around the Park. Last year a couple of families of Mallards raised their young in the Park, and we may have more this year.

We also had a pair of Wood Ducks on the lagoon from mid March through mid April. Then the female disappeared, but once again the male was still around until today. Two years ago Wood Ducks raised almost a dozen babies on the lagoon. We’re hoping it happens again this year.

Do we need more geese in the Park? Well, maybe not. Last fall we sometimes counted more than 500 Canada Geese eating grass on the golf course, ball fields, and lawns of Columbus Park. All but a dozen of those geese have left the Park for the summer, but still, that’s a lot of goose poop.

That said, I’m still glad that young human visitors to the Park will get to watch baby geese grow up.

—–

Updates:

To see what the two-week-old Canada Geese look like, please go here.

To see what the four-week-old Canada Geese look like, go here.

To see what five-week-old Canada Geese look like, go here.

To see the seven-week old Canada Geese, go here.

 

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