These Canada Geese parents make herding a gaggle of goslings look pretty easy!
The chicks really blend into the grass so I had to wait until they took to the water to get a good pic. This couple has 7! I combined the rest of the pix into a YouTube slideshow below. One or both the parents swam with their head down. It looked like they were protecting the chicks from the other geese but I’m not sure. I read that several couples gather together after the chicks hatch. This is called a creche. I wonder if geese in one creche protect the chicks from geese in another creche?
There are signs of spring everywhere on the Oregon Coast. See the 2 grey dots between the one elk’s ears? That’s the bull who recently shed his antlers. I think the bulls lose their antlers just before birthing season so they can get in touch with their feminine side. They’re a little more humble without antlers. 🙂
The Canada Geese are pairing up and building their nests. You can see them on the Alsea Bay and up the river. Eckman Lake is a good place to see a lot of them on their nests.
The brown pelicans have been here for over a month now. These were in Yachats. Seagulls are here year-round.
This is looking at Waldport from the beautiful arch on the Alsea Bay Bridge. It’s my favorite place to look for seal pups.
It’s common to see Pelagic Cormorants diving in the bay and coming up with nesting material. They make nests under the bridge out of sight of all but the boaters.
There are wall-to-wall harbor seals but I didn’t see any babies on this day (Apr 10, ’15). Seals are able to delay implantation after their egg is fertilized. Now, how does their body know, 9 months ahead, when will be the best conditions for giving birth? I have a lot of questions when I get to heaven! 🙂
These seals were finished with their nap and were crabbing near the base of the bridge.
We haven’t seen some of these critters in a while. Either they hibernate or they migrate south for the winter.
It seems like the nutria would stick around but we haven’t noticed them. Maybe they just eat something other than grass in the winter?
It’s hard to tell the difference between a nutria and a beaver when they are swimming. Watch for the tail.
I had NO idea that nutria had orange incisors! That is one of the features that distinguishes them from the muskrat. Nutria are also larger and have fur on their tail. You can see the orange as he scratches his chin.
I should look at last year’s photos to see when the Canada Geese started showing up but it sure seems early. Everything seems early in the northwest due to the incredibly mild winter.
I love the Trillium wildflower! We saw our first one this spring today. Did you know it takes 5 years for a Trillium to develop from seed to flower? There’s a great reason not to pick the wildflowers!
Most of the goslings, at Eckman Lake\AlseaBay, look all grown up!
Well, they’ve got all their adult feathers in anyway. If the adults weren’t there, to compare their size to, I wouldn’t know the difference. (kinda like teenaged humans)
There is a younger family on the edge of the grass. These goslings are solid grey. There’s one adult and 3 or 4 young’uns.
Mom and Dad Canada Geese raise their young together. Parents seem to live in a community too. Before the kids can fly, the parents take them out to eat when it is safe. Then they hide them in the tall grass to rest. I think the taller one is the male. Read more here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canada_Goose/lifehistory
They are still too young to fly but they need to start exercising those wings so Dad shows them how.
There’s that domestic goose still hanging around. I wonder if these Canada Geese will stick around or if we’ll see a lonely, forlorn, goose one day?
The young ones take turns stretching and flapping their wings. They probably don’t even know why yet.
I don’t see the collared goose so I’m not sure when these hatched. But I’m guessing it takes a gosling about 3 weeks to go from all grey to full colors?
Don was starting to accuse me of seeing imaginary baby geese at Eckman Lake (on Alsea Bay).
So I thought it was really sweet of them to hang around so we could photo them today!
And LOOK at the collar on the one out in front! I’ll have to see if I can find out about that.
I’ve seen this domestic goose amongst the Canada Geese before. It is too big and doesn’t have the right plumage to be a White-fronted Goose.
Update from US Fish & Wildlife:
I got the scoop on the collared goose. Although the top of the collar is missing, it is believed to be 244R. They will still try to confirm the ‘R’ if it is not entirely torn off.
She is a long-time resident of Waldport. She is 19 years old now and was collared as a gosling at Eckman Lake in 1994. She was also photographed on the Chinook Winds Golf Course in 2011. Other reported sightings are right in the Eckman Lake area in 1995, 1996, 2004 and 2007. So she’s kind of a home-body.
Thanks to my friend Shawn Stephensen, Refuge Wildlife Biologist\US F&W, for researching her for me! (and for identifying the domestic goose)