Saturday, June 15, 2013

The stork brought a package to our pond

Just a few weeks ago these little fuzzy bundles arrived at the neighbourhood pond - Canada Geese (not "Canadian"). I thought they were just too cute! 

They couldn't have been more than just a few days old when I spotted them for the first time. Aren't most animal babies just the cutest thing when they're so tiny? I didn't want to miss the opportunity.

The female lays anywhere between two to nine eggs (average around five) and both parents watch the nest during the incubation period. (I like that!) Although adult geese can be hostile towards unfamiliar geese, they do form groups taking turns to watch the babies - crèches. Cool! I wonder if they charge by the hour. Fifteen babies at a time is a lot. (ha-ha)

I could hardly believe it when I read that there was a time when these birds were a protected species. Some migrate but others just stay put all year round, especially in locations where there's enough food and less natural predators, e.g. golf courses and neighbourhood ponds. These birds can live up to an average of twenty four years in the wild!

They grow up really fast! I mean really fast. These pictures (above and below) were taken only roughly three weeks later.

In this particular place their worst predator is probably the (car) drivers who don't respect the 10mph speed limit around the pond. I'm so thankful that the disrespectful fools have been fewer and farther between so far. I really enjoy watching people feed them bread crumbs. It adds a wonderful element of homeyness - a sense of family - to the place I call home... even if it is someone else's family.

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