Monday, April 29, 2013

As The Egg Turns: Goose Drama by the Parking Lot

This guest post was written by G.H. Curminion, my Internet buddy in South Carolina, who also took the photos.

This is so cool. My office is on the ground floor, with floor to ceiling windows. I looked up a few minutes ago and a Canada goose was building a nest not 6' from my window! It can't see me, what with the reflection and the mini-blinds. The pair has been hanging out in a small L-shaped area, about 20' on each side, with the sidewalk and parking lot crossing the open part, for about three days now. I thought it was odd, because the geese usually wander around in indiscriminate numbers, but lately it's just been the one pair.

Mama goose through window

Oh! she just stood up! I saw an egg! Dad has been standing guard faithfully since early this week. Now I feel bad about heckling him every morning when I get out of the car (I'm parked just off the L).
It's getting pretty windy, and the area is well-protected, but the wind swirls back in that spot. I'll have to alert our groundskeepers to stay away. They come through with leaf blowers every few days. The nest is built from the pine needles they use as ground cover.

Mama goose defended

Mama Goose looks uncomfortable. Maybe she can see me, so I just turned out my office lights. Maybe it's the wind, but she's not really settling fully on the nest. Sort of squatting over it. Maybe she's laying another egg! Last time we had chicks here there were five. Okay, I just stood up to close the mini-blinds some more. There are two eggs. [Mama goose went on to lay two more eggs.]

Four eggs

[Later] Well, before I left on Friday I noticed that Mama Goose had covered up the nest with more pine straw and departed. I was worried because of a storm front due to come through that evening. When I pulled in this morning, the nest was still there, covered with even MORE pine straw, and the couple are hanging out, grazing on the median in the parking lot, watching the nest. When she is on the nest, he stands guard. 

male and female goose through blinds

Google says incubation period is 24-28 days, so we’re in for the long haul. Dad was chasing people away from the front door last night, and lunged at my car when I pulled out. My parking space is closest to the nest, and when I pulled up this morning, dad was sitting in MY spot. I had to park a couple spots down. So far he hasn’t lunged at me, but apparently there are several pairs nesting in the complex. The other day one of the dads chased the UPS guy all the way around one of the buildings.

To be continued….


  1. Delightful. I have given up feeding my dove in the carport. She flies off when I try to do that. But she is back in the nest after hatching two babies earlier. My cousin had a duck's nest under the window of her shop in Michigan. We watched when the mama duck finally crossed the highway with her brood all in a row, off to Lake Huron. Ain't Spring grand!

    1. I've never tried to feed a dove. I don't think they need help. My carport dove is on the case also. I'd love to watch a waterbird nest. I keep hoping I'll at least find a quail nest around here, but the only time that happened it was after they hatched and all that was left was speckled eggshells.