- On his daily trips to South Saskatchewan River, Mike Digout came upon one particular goose family that appears to be growing in number every day.
- He first counted 16 on his first sighting but counted 47 more recently.
- This occurrence that puts several broods of goslings together is called a gang brood — and Mike is a happy witness.
Mike Digout had no strong opinions about geese. This changed after meeting one mama goose raising her very large family.
Mike hangs out by the Saskatchewan riverbank near his house in Saskatoon since he started working from home. He takes his camera to take pictures of the wildlife that lives there. This is where he encountered mama goose and her many babies.
“I was out every night walking on the riverbank looking for beavers and, of course, there was a lot of geese activity as they were coming from the south and looking for a place to nest,” Mike said. “It got to be quite entertaining to watch the geese fighting over places to nest and protecting their nests.”
He was there when the first batch of the brood had hatched. “They’re so cute when they’re little — like little tennis balls with legs,” Mike said. “So I started taking pictures of the goslings while I was waiting for the beavers to come around.”
There is one particular goose family that appears to be growing in number every day. He counted 16 on his first sighting. He counted 20 on his second time, then 30 the next. Recently, he spotted the mama goose with 47 goslings in her brood.
“I was stunned that this mom had 16 babies, so I started going back every night looking for this mom and her goslings,” Mike said. “And every day it seemed like she had a bigger group.”
He discovered something amazing. This mama goose is part of a cooperative approach in caring for goslings, where goslings from other broods group together. Apparently, this is common in urban and suburban areas with lots of nests.
There is nothing to worry about. Clearly, mama goose is more than capable of raising broods this big. “It was incredible how calm she was with so many goslings around,” Mike said. “She seems like such a patient mom.”
Today, the goose family has split into three family units, leaving mama goose to raising 25 in her brood. She will keep them safe, for sure. At least, until the time for their family to migrate south again.
Source: The Dodo