Growing Goslings

How do you grow goslings? Well, here at the Lake of the Ozarks we use the “flower pot method”! Today’s post covers about a month-long process of monitoring and photographing an active Canada Goose nest on our dock at the lake. An absolutely wonderful experience to be able to follow this goose family (mom and pop) as they built their nest (in one of our dock’s flower pots), laid eggs and incubated seven eggs!

The first inkling of something was happening was about a month ago, when we saw this Canada Goose sitting in the flower pot:

Mother Canada Goose incubating eggs

Because she sat in the flower pot for long periods of time, we had to wait a while to catch her off the pot, just to verify what was going on:

Five eggs in a Canada Goose nest

Yep, we’ve found a new home!!! This photo shows 5 eggs, but over another day or so, another 2 eggs were added, totaling 7 eggs. The incubation process was a rather “boring” time as not much to see … her incubating the eggs, while papa goose stayed close by and chased other geese, herons, and even us away from the dock!

But on the morning of April 24, Mother Goose was posturing on the nest as if there might be some little ones hatching. She would sit on the nest, but her wings were not tight against her body, but rather more like an “umbrella” over the nest. Sitting and watching for some time, we observed the first gosling in the nest, then more:

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Canada Goose nest with gosling

This first seen gosling grew quite active as time progressed … quite a little “ham”:

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Canada Goose nest with gosling

… but still a bit chilly … “I need my down coat”:

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Peek-a-boo, from my bed:

Canada Goose nest with gosling

A while later, mom gets off the nest and we see her brood:

Canada Goose goslings in their nest

The parents tried to coax the young ones out of the nest, but they were quite content to stay in the warm nest:

Canada Goose goslings in their nest

By now, it was getting late in the day, so mom climbed back into the nest and covered them up.  The following morning, they were still in the nest with mom keeping them warm. But it didn’t take long before they began leaving the nest … I’ll feature some of those images in another post!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 bodies (2 used)
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS IS lens, and Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On” (100-400mm lens) and Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod head (500 mm lens)
  • ISO 200 through ISO 1600, depending on lighting and action at the time
  • Aperture variable
  • Shutter variable

 

 

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Posted in 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography
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