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FAMILY LIFE

I haven't given a lot of thought to Canada geese over the years, except possibly as nuisances. Mostly I've seen flocks of adults in the late Fall, but this year I have seen goslings growing up. And with that I began to appreciate the work goose parents put in to raise their young,


A goose can lay a clutch of as many as ten eggs that take about a month to hatch. That number seems daunting, but geese always have two-parent families (so I've read), which should help a little. Also, since they don't as a rule mate until they are four years old, there are often benign adults nearby who help.


This mother has six goslings. Since we photographed her in April we can figure that the babies are fairly young, although not the pale yellow of the hatchling. Goslings leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching and can swim immediately.

These pictures are of a family currently living at Chinook Landing. First comes the Papa:

Then comes the crew:

I found the differences in maturation among the goslings to be striking:

The two adults have a quiet moment --


And the least mature "baby of the family" tucks in under Mama's wing.

As always, we got quite an education!


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