Mike Digout has never been a lover of geese from Canada. However, his perspective shifted after seeing a fantastic mother goose who looked after a huge family.
Digout has been taking walks along the Saskatchewan riverside near his house in Saskatoon since he started working from home, bringing his camera to document the wildlife that lives there. It was there that he first encountered the geese.
“I was out every night looking for beavers on the riverside,” Digout told The Dodo, “and there was a lot of geese activity as they were coming from the south and seeking for a site to nest.” “It must be rather amusing to watch the geese compete for nesting sites and defend their nests.”
Digout saw the first group of goslings hatching in May. “They’re so cute when they’re small,” Digout added, “like little tennis balls with legs.” “So, as I was waiting for the beavers to appear, I started photographing the goslings.”
Digout was sitting among some reeds along the riverbed one night when he noticed a mother goose with a disproportionately big number of goslings. The babies began burrowing under her feathers one by one to sleep for the night, until he counted 16 fluffy bodies crammed beneath their protecting mother’s wings.
“I was astounded that this mother had 16 children,” Digout said. “I kept coming back every night seeking for this mother and her goslings.” “And it looked like she had a bigger group every day.”
He counted 25 goslings one day, then 30 the next, until he found the mother geese and her spouse with 47 kids. Digout discovered that this wonderful mom was caring for goslings from a variety of households. This is known as a gang brood, and it’s frequent in regions with a lot of nests, like as cities and suburbs.
When extremely patient parents babysit other geese’s offspring, gang broods emerge, allowing their buddies a few nights off.
And Digout could tell this goose mother was cut out for the job: “It was astonishing how calm she was with so many goslings about,” he added. “She appears to be a patient mother.”
The goslings are rapidly maturing, and they can no longer all fit beneath their mother’s wing. They’re all sleeping in one huge pile now, and she’s keeping an eye on them.