Saturday, May 22, 2010


Across the railroad tracks from the pond and the river is a large nest on a power pole.
It was built by ospreys.

Ospreys are large predatory birds that catch and eat live fish.

They also feed those fish to their young. For this reason ospreys build their nest high and near bodies of water. Osprey chicks stay in the nest and are fed by their parents until they grow large and strong enough to fly and survive on their own.

But this year it is not ospreys in the big nest.

Canada Geese have moved in.

(Maybe they got a sweet deal on the nest when the ospreys couldn’t make mortgage payments).

A big female goose is spending time there hatching out her eggs.

The location is certainly safe from enemies such as foxes and raccoons. And Mrs. Goose has a great view of the surrounding area.

But according to research ducks and geese don’t bring food to their babies. The little ones are not able to eat until they reach water. As soon as ducklings and goslings hatch they leave the nest and follow their mom to a nearby pond or stream.

In this particular case the first baby step is going to be a BIG one.

Waterfowl have occasionally been known to nest in high places. Fortunately the babies weigh almost nothing so when they jump they float more than fall to the ground.

There are stories of people catching leaping wild ducklings and goslings or putting out hay to soften the fall when little ones have to dive from a nest built over a sidewalk in town.

The baby Canada Geese in this osprey nest will have a big challenge right away in their little lives. I hope their parents rethink their nesting location next year.

A goose has built a nest very high up, do we need to do anything? How will the goslings get down?
Geese have been known to build nests high enough off of the ground to catch the attention of concerned observers. In many cases, when the nest is the equivalent of only one story high, there is no need for concern. When hatched, the goslings will follow the mother goose down by jumping and floating (not flying) to the ground (they weigh very little when first hatched). In the ideal situation, the gosling will be able to land on a soft surface such as grass, water, soil or other vegetation (i.e., not pavement or stones). Even at this safe jumping height there are possible complications depending on where the nest is located.

Link to a story about leaping goslings:


Janie said...

Interesting. Sure would be a better place for osprey nesting than for geese! I heard about some geese nesting outside a 3rd floor office window. The goslings didn't survive that first step.

Linda Sue said...

Go get some bales, sister- catch those babies- I think that I would pile it high , about five feet - do it at night so the power people won't throw you in hay jail.
Wonder why the Osprey did not return.

beth said...

i've never seen a goose nest that high !
what a riot !

and nooooo, i said i love the humidity !....i'm not complaining at all !

Krista said...

Squatters! How do you get rid of them? might be fine for the parents, but what about the children? I think I have issues with squatters. ;-) They get my goose!

CeeCee said...

Not the brightest geese in the string, are they?
I have never heard of geese building so high!
I hope a couple bales of hay make it underneath before they leap.

Anairam said...

Oh, my goodness, one can only hope for the best! Fly, goslings, fly! PS Snous is very pleased at your interest - she has wanted to be in a horror movie all her life. Even if she only does the sound ...

kendalee said...

Oh I do hope they'll be okay! I'd be tempted to put out those inflatable matresses for them to land on... "silly goose" takes on a whole new meaning.

Flea said...

Omigoodness. That's incredible. We get more than our fair share of Canadian geese here in Tulsa, but I've never seen a nest.

Jill said...

What a great story - I have seen film of ducklings bouncing down cliffs and surviving but plunging from that height onto the pavement looks rather scary - please keep us informed.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You have VERY good eyesight to even notice the goose!

This was really interesting-- At first I thought how smart the mama was then I realized how high up the nest is. It gives new meaning to "watch that first step, it's a doozie!"

Happy weekend,

frayedattheedge said...

Oh dear - maybe you should just lurk under the nest with a safety net like trapeze artists have in the circus!!

susanna said...

Yikes, that IS high! I've never seen this before. It's funny until you think of the little goslings. Man, I hope they will be okay...I don't think I want to know otherwise.

Hope you are having a good weekend. :)

Kilauea Poetry said...

Lol..well you take incredible captures- especially in flight! That is magnificent! This is of course best enlarged..what a nest, and then the female goose sitting up there with that look! Priceless, and at least there light-