Friday, June 3, 2016
This year's geese families
Three or four litters (if that's the correct term) this year, and two of them are pictured above. In the foreground is a family of five goslings with the two adult parents. The far background shows two adults with one gosling which is much smaller than any of the other ones born this year. It's the size the others were weeks ago, so I assume it was hatched later.
The reason why I say three or four litters is because of the uncertainty I have about the last group which was nearby today although I didn't photograph them. I've noticed that the families often tend to stay in the same area, sort of a mutual watch and protect thing. The un-pictured group consists of ten goslings which seem to be invariably accompanied by three adults. My theory is that this large group is really two separate litters of five each, and one of the parents died. The remaining parent joined with another family of five goslings to form this group.
Canada Geese parents stay with their offspring until their flight wings develop enabling them to fly, I believe. They can apparently swim immediately after hatching, but flying requires more physical development. As the goslings grow their color changes from light tan to the familiar black and white of the adults. Most of these birds are well on their way to becoming full adults.
All of these, by the way, are observations I've made and interpretations which may not be correct since I haven't check them with bird guides.