June 5, 2012

Report from the pond

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Three mated pairs of geese from our local pond produced chicks this Spring. Milo, the leader of the flock, is one of the lucky fathers.

This year the brood totals were high. One couple had five chicks, another six, and the third had 11! These are larger broods than they typically produce. I suspect this is because they didn't have to migrate this year, what with winter never arriving. Without that grueling, life-or-death flight, they had a ton of energy left over for making babies.

The sad thing is that the clutch of 11 chicks is down to eight now, and the group of six is down to four. There's been a lot of predation out there this year. With foxes, coyotes, hawks and crows on the prowl, it's difficult to raise a family in the wild, especially when nature doesn't give you weapons to fight with. Let's face it: geese are not scary.

The adults bring the chicks over to me to let them know that I'm a good guy. I love hanging out with them. The babies that survived appear very strong. I think there will be no more disappearing of chicks this year. This has been your report from the pond. Treasure it.

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