Mike Digout used to dislike Canadian geese, but that changed when he met a mother goose caring for a big family. Now, he thinks differently about these birds.
Digout has been exploring the Saskatchewan riverbank near his home in Saskatoon since he started working from home. He takes walks and photographs the different animals that live in the area. He even made new friends with some geese he met during his walks.
According to Digout, he spent evenings walking along the riverbank, searching for beavers. During this time, he observed many geese’ activity as they migrated from the south and searched for a place to build their nests. He enjoyed watching the geese fiercely compete over nesting spots and fiercely defend their nests. This made for an entertaining spectacle each evening.
In May, Digout observed the birth of the first group of goslings. “They look adorable when they’re tiny – just like little tennis balls with legs,” said Digout. While waiting for the beavers to appear, Digout began capturing photos of the cute goslings.
Digout witnessed a fantastic sight one night while sitting by the riverbank. He saw a mother goose with a considerable number of goslings. One by one, the fluffy babies crawled under their mother’s feathers to sleep for the night. To Digout’s surprise, he counted 16 goslings crowded under their mother’s protective wings.
Digout was amazed and decided to visit the same spot every night to check on the mother goose and her goslings. He noticed that the group kept growing every day, and he was fascinated by this beautiful sight.
One day, Digout saw 25 baby goslings. The next day, he saw 30 more goslings. Finally, he saw the mother goose and father goose with 47 babies. Digout realized that the mother goose was caring for goslings from different families. This is called a “gang brood” and often happens in cities and suburbs with many nests.
Gang broods are groups of geese babies formed when some geese’ parents ask their patient friends to babysit their little ones for a few nights.
Digout noticed that one particular goose, a babysitter, was doing a fantastic job. She was very calm despite having so many baby geese around her. Digout thought that she would make a great mom because of her patience.