Personal Development and Spirituality Topics

with Karen Scheel

Trio Return

To my knowledge, Canada geese were monogamous by nature but clearly this is not always the case. It would seem much like some in the human species, geese can also be players too. Within 2 years of my initial lessons from geese, Sir Goose had picked up another female somewhere along the way. And unlike most women in the human species, this other female was not much of a problem for Molly. Although, Molly still had more rank when it came to Sir Goose and his affection which might have been a factor? I wondered if something had happened to her – maybe she could no longer lay a hatch so another female had been selected? I had no clue what was up with that but did know there were now three geese planning to camp out on my roof for the next 6-7 weeks. Even though the first nesting experience had proven to be quite beneficial on several levels, I was not so sure I wanted to go through another surrogate mother trip. Turns out, I was not given much of a choice. The new female – “3rd Wheel” wasted no time in trying to build a nest with some fallen twigs from the nearby tree But there was not enough there to build anything. Therefore, I opted to give it a few days. I was kind of hoping she might decide my roof was not an ideal place. Nope – she was not leaving. She seemed pretty determined to make the twigs work. I finally conceded and gathered a throne for her.

Canada Goose-3rd Wheel building nest on roof.She had plenty to work with but for some reason she just could not get it together. The grass was being spread out all over the roof rather than being gathered into a nest. After several days of pushing grass, Molly finally took over and built the nest for her. The eggs began to appear within a matter of days. However, 3rd Wheel was not like Molly, and seemed to have absolutely no idea what she was supposed to do. This amazed me. I had believed this was instinctual – no training needed. But this goose clearly needed some! I also wondered if something was wrong with her. In addition to leaving the nest often, 3rd Wheel did not seem to know how to get back into the nest without moving it. She would slowly drop her chest down to cover the eggs and then use her feet to push her body into it which not only moved the nest but also weakened its construction.

Molly was beyond any doubt doing her best to be a good surrogate. She was right there to make any necessary nest repairs, and even began to sit on it. But 3rd Wheel was not willing to give it up. Molly was initially very patient with what appeared to be a first time mother. She was also willing to relinquish the nest as long as 3rd Wheel stayed on the job. Although, as time went on this changed. There were nine eggs that 3rd Wheel’s small frame could not cover. In addition to being more experienced, Molly was also a bit larger and used her body to cover any exposed eggs.

Canada Geese 3rd Wheel and Molly sharing nest on roof.

After about week of dealing with 3rd Wheel, I noticed that Molly appeared to be losing her patience , so I was not the only one! She began to become more resistant to stepping aside whenever 3rd Wheel decided to return from doing whatever it was she had gone off to do. It was becoming obvious there was a bit of a battle going on.

I came home one afternoon and found two eggs on the ground. In her attempts to win the battle, 3rd Wheel had used some grass from the larger nest to try and build a second one. She had also taken and moved all the eggs on over to her flimsy little nest. Apparently, two had gotten away from her during this move. However, not only was her new nest way too small but her small frame still could not cover the seven eggs. She looked pretty funny sitting up there on that mound. Once again, Molly came to the rescue and added more grass from the larger nest to 3rd Wheel’s smaller one. She also tried again to assist but 3rd Wheel clearly wanted to be in charge. It was not uncommon for me to wake up and see the nest moved a little closer to the edge of that roof along with a lower egg count.

About two weeks after the eggs had been laid, I went to the window one morning to find 3rd Wheel standing over her nest. It was inches away from the edge with three eggs remaining. Molly and Sir Goose must have known it was a hopeless case because they were nowhere in sight. 3rd Wheel was on her own. She was trying to move the remaining eggs back away from the edge but her body should have been turned in the opposite direction. The roof over my front door has a slight slant, and it probably would have been much easier to push the eggs up rather than trying to pull them up with her stick beak. The egg she was working with got away from her and rolled off the roof, which had me feeling a little sorry for her because she looked a bit distressed. She stood there for several minutes before her body dropped slowly down to settle back into the nest, which she moved even closer to that edge. I figured she had another day at most before her hatch was completely gone – but it was actually less.

Approximately one hour later, I was on my way out and had just closed the front door when another egg rolled off the roof and landed on the ground right in front of me. At that point I lost it and began to reprimand her. She stood up to stretch her little beanie head out over the edge to look down at me. We were both looking at each other when her last egg rolled off and landed on the ground next to the others. I stomped off to my car yelling at her and at Sir Goose wherever he was. I was really giving him a piece of my mind, because he had clearly picked an absolutely clueless one that was most definitely an abortionist!

Canada Geese Series Continues – Let Nature Take Its Course?