Early April brought our resident Canada Goose couple looking for a nesting site. They have nested on Green Heron Pond for the last six years and had only 3 viable nests during that time. Mostly due to a very determined and hungry coyote looking for a tasty omelette apparently. This year they wanted to nest on the pond again but seemed hesitant. They showed up daily and then we began to notice Mrs Goose showed up less and less but Mr kept being on the pond. Looking up at the monolithic remains of our old giant Cottonwood it began to seem plausible that she was nesting inside a hollowed portion of the remains. Walking over to investigate- very soon a beak and beady eyes peered down at us out of a long ago woodpecker nest hole. The geese had found a condo by water’s edge and safe haven for their soon to be brood.
I just could not imagine a gosling sliding down the 15-17 foot drop onto a gravel filled area at pond’s edge. Wood Ducks do it all the time but a baby Wood Duck and a gosling are a bit different size-wise. So,I began to research (which means googling “geese nesting in trees”) and I found an old Mutual of Omaha TV show with footage of Canada Geese nesting in trees somewhere on a swamp in the PNW. Sure enough the geese would land in trees where there were abandoned falcon nests and they would build up the stick frame with soft down and sit on the eggs. Expecting to see more footage of the goslings sliding down to the grassy area by the swamp I was instead treated to a fight for life between Momma Goose and a predator Bobcat (or coyote) with goslings looking on…. ghastly, but proof that the goslings somehow had gotten down.
So we waited the 29-30 days we figured they would need and the last few days I laid 2 plush Adirondack cushions down at the base of the old Cottonwood to gently break the goslings slide, jump or possibly toss by Momma Goose. And on day 30 they appeared by their mom and dad at the stump next to the water and then straight into the pond. We saw them for a couple of days and they have since moved on. However, I believe the condo has now been sublet as we have a different Momma Goose peering down at us looking sternly through the old woodpecker nest entrance…. will be getting the cushions back out there in a few weeks. Life on Green Heron Pond- we are now in the real estate business… high rise that is.