Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageInstitutional facility becomes maternity ward for geese Special

By Betty Kowall     Apr 8, 2010 in Environment
Guelph - An institutional building in Guelph, Ontario has adopted a second function this spring. This year its roof is home to a breeding pair of Canada geese, their nest and a 'clutch' of four eggs.
The building is located near one of the two rivers, the Speed and the Eramosa, that flow through Guelph. Geese, ducks and other waterfowl are found along the banks of both rivers.
Canada geese (Branta canadensis) generally nest on the ground but occasionally nest on flat-roofs or balconies. They search for sites that are near water, safe from predators and offer good visibility so threats can be seen and anticipated. Like all new parents their nest location selection abilities are not perfect and mistakes can occur.
The nest pictured to the right may eventually prove a 'mistake' of this nature. It is safe from predators and offers excellent visibility for both the brooding female and her male partner, who can keep watch on an adjacent roof without giving away the site of the nest. However, it may prove impossible for the goslings to get from the nest to the water without human intervention as the flat roof that the female goose chose is approximately ten meters from the ground.
According to the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology website the nest is simply made but functional:
Nests are very simple and are made quickly. Materials that are used are weeds, twigs, grass, moss, needles, and other such materials.... Once the eggs are laid, the nest is lined with feathers and down. Down insulates against extreme warmth as well as cold, stabilizing egg temperature.
The nest in Guelph, with a clutch of four eggs, and down beginning to be added is pictured below.
A clutch of four eggs sits in a goose nest on the roof of a building in Guelph  Ontario. The mother ...
A clutch of four eggs sits in a goose nest on the roof of a building in Guelph, Ontario. The mother has begun to line the nest with down in preparation for hatching.
Inquiries are being made of local ornithologists to determine if the entire nest, eggs and all or, after they hatch, the goslings will need to be moved.
More about Guelph, Geese, Eggs, Hatch
More news from
Latest News
Top News