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Happy Families at SOEL Farm

Every year I diligently follow the courting pairs of Canadian geese.

A male goose stands watch over a nesting female.
Mama Goose can concentrate on the main task - she is always protected by her partner.

As early spring arrives, the flock becomes particularly active and loud. The males bow their heads before females, and charge to fight other males. With the contenders successfully dispersed, one happy pair looks for a nesting spot on one of two small islands at the pond - they need to stay out of reach of the foxes here.

The female begins the important job of eating - and eating she does, non stop devouring fresh grass on the lawn under the watchful eyes of the male protector. A good while later, having had her fill, she positions herself on a rather hastily assembled, unattractive mess of dead grass from last year, feathers, and leaves. She stayed there for about 3 weeks, and then one day - pff… the nest is empty. At that time I usually see the broken shells and assume the worst - a hawk attack or such. A couple days of vigilant watching - and I spot the happy couple with their kids.

They venture outside from their hiding places usually very early in the morning. Caring for young ducklings is not an easy task - but this year both couples were very successful. Here are some of the pictures!

Two geese lead three goslings towards a pond.
On the lawn, in the water - the parents are always watching their kids. Humans, take note!
Two geese guiding three goslings in a pond.
Geese. Geese are loud.

Two geese families - one with three goslings, one with four, swimming in the pond.
Both families are happily raising their kids. Look, they even have play dates. You can almost hear them saying: "Remember, you have to be on your best behavior. Be polite when meeting new kids. And remember to share!"

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