By Janet Alexander
The Canada Goose is one of the most familiar birds to identify as an adult. They are found on ponds and marshes, and most any type of wetland—freshwater or salt. They are extremely variable in size, even within their family groups.
Newly hatched goslings are covered with dense down. This plumage provides excellent insulation and traps air that makes the hatchling quite buoyant in the water. The female incubates four to ten eggs, usually on the ground, which hatch in 25-30 days. The young fledge in six to ten weeks. Diet consists mostly of plant matter and, if available, aquatic invertebrates.
Well known for their V-shaped migration patterns when flying south to winter in northern Mexico and the Gulf Coast, they can also be heard by their loud honking.
One spring, WCSV received several goslings that were raised by a surrogate mother, a patient who was recovering from a good injury. She brooded and taught these downy creatures how to forage for food and to swim. They were successfully released as a family unit at Ed Levin Park in Milpitas in early June. We were delighted to hear they remained as a team!