Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Babies arrive - In the Park

What a surprise! New goslings and ducklings have arrived and they are already out swimming in the lake with their parents.

The geese have been honking in and around the islands in the lake for the last month and the ducks have been pairing up in the tall grasses. So I knew that it was that time of year, I just didn't expect to see little ones this soon.

Geese pair up for life, so I see the same pairs year after year nesting in the same spots around the lake. Geese are the most protective parents I've ever seen. As the goslings make their way around the lake, the parents are always there. One parent swims in front while the other circles around and behind the babies. If other parents are available, they join the group, adding additional protection for the goslings. And if you are not an 'aware' human and get too close to those babies, watch out. The goose 'in charge' will hiss at you, be smart take the warning and back off. If you don't, they'll bite you.

Ducks, well, they have a much more relaxed parenting style. When the ducklings are on the lake, it's usually just one parent floating alongside. And even then, sometimes the adult will just swim away in search of their own meal and leave those ducklings all alone to fend for themselves. So, it doesn't surprise me that our park has a much bigger goose population than ducks.

Still it was a surprise and a special treat to see these little ones on the lake today.


goldenbird said...

Oh what cute babies! I love it when the parents and the babies swim around the lake-- they look so proud, like they've formed a parade just to show off the goslings.

A barn owl is nesting in a box at a nearby park and I think I might have seen babies peeking their heads out. It's hard to tell because I want to see them so badly I may have just imagined it ;o)

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Michael Turner said...

A barn owl and exciting! I hope you not only get to see them but get some pictures, too!

I know, I love those fuzzy little goslings!!