Personal Development and Spirituality Topics

with Karen Scheel

The Trio’s Gosling

The trio returned and initially selected my roof for nesting. I was not sure I wanted to have them up there, and especially if it meant Lucy would be denied access to my house. They must have sensed my thoughts because they moved to the pond after a few days. Their site between two trees provided quick and easy access to the water. But there was a catch – it was on a slight incline. My slanted roof had been a challenge for 3rd Wheel and I wasn’t sure her hatch would do any better at this site. Although, she was a year older so maybe the previous year had taught her how to manage a nest? The trio were not the only ones wanting this particular piece of land. There was another interested tenant and her mate challenged Sir Goose for a number of days before Sir Goose finally won the battle and secured all property rights. Witnessing this final battle between the males was not something I did well. Both were locked, biting and pounding on each other with their wings. They were totally oblivious to my screams and the small twigs I threw at them. I thought for sure one of them would be killed or badly injured. Fortunately, this was not the case. After about 15 minutes they separated. As soon as Sir Goose released his hold, the other gander took off for the far side of the pond and Sir Goose immediately turned his attention to his females.

Unlike last year, 3rd Wheel built her own nest this time, which in my mind was a good sign. I provided extra grass to compensate for the incline. My thoughts were if she had a large enough nest then the eggs might have a chance – HA! The following pictures reflect her nest getting larger and larger as her hatch became smaller and smaller.

Canada Goose 3rd Wheel's nesting.

She initially had seven eggs and after she lost the first two, Molly tried to become more involved but 3rd Wheel dominated the nest. Not to mention, the exposed egg under her tail seemed to be more of a concern for Molly than it was for her.  Molly ended up trying to cover it with her body, which 3rd Wheel did not like because Molly opted to lay right on her back.

Goose 3rd Wheel and Goose Molly.

After a third egg rolled out, more grass was provided which Molly used to fill in the weak area of the nest. She also managed to rescue that third egg but…

Goose 3rd Wheel and Goose Molly minus 3 eggs.

Both females reminded me of two siblings fighting with each other. Although, it was a one way fight for sure. 3rd Wheel did not want Molly on the nest and pushed her, nipped her and when that failed, she would latch on to the back of her neck. Molly took the abuse and initially would not leave. Both seemed to do better when they sat as pictured below. Sir Goose is resting on the ground in front of them.

Sir Goose, Molly and 3rd Wheel
Two eggs remained in the nest, which had grown and was quite large at that point in time. I was pretty sure she would have at least one gosling. But then again, if there was ever a goose that could lose all her eggs then this be the one. Therefore, all I could do was hope that she would somehow manage to keep at least one egg under her.

3rd Wheel on nest with 5 eggs outside of nest on ground.

I went out to check the nest one morning to find a surprise that was dumbfounding. It took a few minutes before I realized there was nothing magical surrounding the egg count increasing to eleven. Turned out, Molly could and did lay a hatch, which meant Sir Goose was another one that did not subscribe to the alleged monogamy this species is noted for. I honestly felt sorry for Molly because 3rd Wheel still would not give up the nest or even share it with her. I wondered if Molly had chosen to surrender it completely – maybe she knew her eggs stood a better chance of hatching if she left 3rd Wheel alone?

3rd Wheel’s one and only gosling arrived and is sitting in front of his/her mother. But there was a nest filled with fairly new eggs that still needed another couple weeks.  After about 24 hours of bouncing around the nest, this rambunctious little one merged with the family from the other side of the pond and became their sixth gosling.

3rd Wheel with her gosling.

3rd Wheel continued to sit on the nest for about 3 additional weeks before finally abandoning the dead hatch. Unlike last year, she did stay on the job this time and managed to produce one but that one moved out.  My hope is that next year this trio will have something to show for their efforts because they seem to be doing much work for nothing. Out of the three pairs of Canada geese, the trio produced one gosling, the geese on the far side of the pond produced five, and the third pair had a bad hatch. The fatality rate among goslings is quite high and four of the six disappeared, which means only two will be entering flight school training this year, and is the lowest number we have ever had. Additionally, I am pretty sure 3rd Wheel’s gosling is not one of the remaining two. Her gosling had a very curious spirit that had him/her wandering further away from the adults than the other goslings. I noticed this energy missing about a week and half after s/he changed residence.

Canada Geese Series ContinuesGoose Lucy’s Walkabout

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  1. The geese are cool. I guess I like them because they are basically large ducks and the black and green ducks are my favorite. When I was a child many moons ago my dad would take us to valley green to feed the ducks bread. It was kind of like their breakfast .

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