Anne and Chris, Old Post Office | July 12, 2021
The Old Post Office is situated on the edge of the Grand River so we’re used to seeing wildlife while looking out the windows. On April 19, we happened to notice something we haven’t been accustomed to seeing, a Canada Goose building a nest on our green roof.
The eggs take 25-28 days to hatch and we decided to make an event out of it. We live-streamed the progress of mom and her eggs on our YouTube channel until they are hatched on Monday, May 17.
To the geese, our green roof must seem like the ideal spot – right beside the river and safe from land predators. It’s a 30 foot drop to the water though, so we worked with a wildlife rehabilitator to determine the best way to help the goslings make it down to the Grand River safely once they were welcomed into this world. It turned out that they did not need our assistance! The brave goslings made it safely down to the river's edge on Tuesday, May 18.
Did you know Canada Geese stay with the same mate for life? The female picks the spot, makes the nest and lines it with down from her belly. We notice that she carefully covers the eggs with the down to keep them warm when she leaves to eat. What a good mum! You can tell when she’s snoozing with her eyes closed because her eyelids are bright white against her velvet black face. While she incubates the eggs, the male stands guard. You might see him float by on the river on the live cam. When the eggs hatch, dad will protect the whole family, he’s big and strong and that’s why she chose him!
There are different Canada Goose subspecies across North America ranging from our ‘Common’ which can be heavier than a Bald Eagle, to the adorably stubby half-size ‘Cackling’ variety that you might spot in our area during spring and fall migration. Spring migration is happening now, so it’s a great time to borrow a pair of our binoculars , a field guide, and go birding at a local green space.
While you watch along with us, your kids can learn about how geese raise their families with the beautifully illustrated Canada Goose at Cattail Lane.
Nature lovers will appreciate Bernd Heinrich’s The Geese of Beaver Bog available on Libby – a deep but humorous look into the surprisingly complex and drama-filled lives of a tame goose named Peep and the wild geese near his home. It’s a page turner that will give a better understanding of our goose pair’s life.
Thank you for watching the live stream with us, and consider subscribing to our Idea Exchange channel for more exciting content.