Tag Archives: canada geese

Goose Herding for Mother’s Day

These Canada Geese parents make herding a gaggle of goslings look pretty easy!

canada geese with 7 chicks
7 goslings stick close

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?

[youtube https://youtu.be/FjwtPVepIvs]

Happy Mother’s Day!

Spring Wildlife

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.  🙂

Bull elk shed his antlers
Bull elk shed his 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.

Canada Geese beginning to nest
Canada Geese beginning to nest

The brown pelicans have been here for over a month now.  These were in Yachats.  Seagulls are here year-round.

Brown Pelicans fishing off Yachats River
Brown Pelicans fishing off Yachats River

This is looking at Waldport from the beautiful arch on the Alsea Bay Bridge.  It’s my favorite place to look for seal pups.

Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport, OR
Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport, OR

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.

Cormorant under Alsea Bridge
Cormorant under Alsea Bridge

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!  🙂

Wall-to-wall seals in Alsea Bay
Wall-to-wall seals in Alsea Bay

These seals were finished with their nap and were crabbing near the base of the bridge.

Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay
Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay

Springtime wakes up sleepy wildlife

We haven’t seen some of these critters in a while.  Either they hibernate or they migrate south for the winter.

Nutria on riverbank
Nutria on riverbank

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?

Nutria swimming
Nutria swimming

It’s hard to tell the difference between a nutria and a beaver when they are swimming.  Watch for the tail.

nutria have orange front teeth
Nutria have orange front teeth

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.

Canada Goose Couple
Canada Goose Couple

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!

Elk screaming
AAAAAGGGHHH (insert goat scream here)

Oops!  I think I startled the pee out of her!  🙂

Nesting Canada Geese

The Canada Geese are back on the Central Oregon Coast!

Canada Geese on Alsea River at Eckman Lake
Marsh on Alsea River at Eckman Lake

We like watching them gather in the marshy grass flats on the river side of Eckman Lake near Waldport.

Canada Geese in tall grass
Tall grass is good for nesting

There’s lots of food and easy access to slow-moving water; good for teaching the kiddos to swim.  And the grass is tall enough to hide the nest.

Canada Geese in tall grass
Peek-a-boo or Whack-a-goose

In fact, its tall enough to hide Mom and Dad in.  Who knows how many geese are in there!

Language Immersion Program for Geese

Now I know what’s going on!

Canadian Language Immersion for Geese
Canadian Language Immersion

Every year Waldport, Oregon, hosts thousands of Canada Geese families.

We, as humans, usually travel to a different country in order to immerse ourselves in a different language and culture.  But domestic geese can’t fly that far.

Since the Canada Geese come to us, it’s the perfect opportunity for the native and domestic geese to learn the language through Language Immersion!

Flaps Up for Father’s Day

Most of the goslings, at Eckman Lake\AlseaBay, look all grown up!

Geese almost grown up
Almost Grown

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.

Geese in Tall Grass

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

Adult goose shows how to flap wings
Daddy Goose Shows the Way

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?

goslings flap wings to strengthen
Exercise those wings

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?

They grow up SO fast!


Imaginary Goslings

Don was starting to accuse me of seeing imaginary baby geese at Eckman Lake (on Alsea Bay).

Collared Canada Goose
Collared Canada Goose

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.

canada geese chicks
I AM the boss of you ’cause I’m your step-grandmother!

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)