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Through My Lens

Goose Train

A native North American species, Canada Geese migrate each spring to the Moreno Valley area of New Mexico to nest and rear their young. This family nested near Monte Verde Lake in Angel Fire. Their nests are typically situated on the ground, usually on a mound or other slightly elevated site, near water. I have encountered a nest situated in the nook of a roof, however. They prefer a spot from which they can have a fairly unobstructed view in many directions. The female selects the site and does much of nest construction. She adds down feathers and some body feathers beginning after the second egg is laid. She does all the incubation while her mate guards her and the nest.

Both parents diligently tend and raise their young, aggressively defending them, and they will quickly herd their little ones to the sanctuary of nearby water should danger approach. Parents are often seen leading their goslings in a line, usually with one adult at the front, and the other at the back.

It was an overcast and drizzly spring day as this family of seven grazed on tender grass shoots sprouting along the south shore. While tolerant of my camera lens for a while, the doting parents eventually grew annoyed and herded their young into the water when my persistent camera drew me too close for comfort. The fuzzy little goslings stuck quite close to their parents, paddling and bobbing away in a runaway “goose train” across the lake.

Canada Goose and Goslings

Goose Train

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