Flowers in California

Flowers in California

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Goose in a Marsh ... For Now

I'm not an expert on waterfowl although with ducks moving in close to my house, for reasons I find confusing, maybe one day I will claim that title. Still, when I saw a marshy area yesterday, I knew that it would be a perfect place for Canada Geese to nest and very soon that was confirmed. One Canada Goose stood in the marsh. I couldn't see if there was a nest but I suspect that there would be one there. I hope that the mate was out gathering food or perhaps enjoying a relaxing afternoon flight (again, I am not a waterfowl expert; I don't know what they do for fun).

I learned a little of the nesting habits of Canada Geese when I was in grade two and my teacher told us of some that were nesting near her apartment building. The building was quite new and the geese had set up their home in an adjacent area that was as yet undeveloped.

Canada Geese are loyal birds. I know from reading Timothy Findley's lovely and gentle book about his home and life (From Stone Orchard) that Canada Geese mate for life. Together, they can be relied upon to return to the same nesting spot annually after their winter migrations. 

While that Canada Goose I saw yesterday seemed to be doing well, I wonder what next year and years beyond that will be like for it. A new corporate headquarters has been built just beyond the marshy area. There's a shopping area beyond that and homes close by. That area is not set up to be a goose habitat for much longer. One year, perhaps very soon, the geese will come back and their home will be gone.

We can't know what it's like to be Canada Geese that have to find a new home and nesting spot. Whatever they feel or know, though, they have to change their plans because of what we have done to their habitat. Whether what we do is right or wrong, it seems sad to me that things change in this way for these loyal and reliable birds.

Perhaps Canada Geese evaluate the situation and simply look for and find other nesting locations. I hope so. And I hope that for this nesting season, at least, the geese in that marsh have an opportunity to raise some happy little goslings and enjoy themselves. And maybe offer some nearby residents a chance to see and appreciate a bit of nature in the form of a little goose family.



  1. I love to watch geese. They're so graceful. Proud mamas and papas too - you don't want to get between one of them and their nest!

  2. They really are beautiful and so dignified. I hope that nest is doing well.
    Thank you so much for reading.