Saturday, May 29, 2010
One Big Happy Family
What you see above is a scene with two adult Canada Geese and their young. They're swimming along very far out on a pretty good sized lake. I had to zoom in as far as my camera would go to get this close. There is a very good reason I did this. Can you see what that reason is?
Count the geese.
(babies). That's right, I said twenty! I have no idea how this pair of geese ended up with twenty babies, but there they are. Everything I've ever read says that one mother goose will have seven eggs. If one is damaged or stolen, then she will lay another one, always to equal seven.
I'm not sure if that's exactly true, but seven is the number of eggs that the goose I watched last year had. Go see for yourself. Even if the idea of seven isn't 100% true, how can one mother goose sit on twenty eggs at one time? Look at them. Those babies are pretty much all the same size! They were born together. And I said before, at least twenty. There may be more.
Now of course, there could be another explanation. Maybe the adults aren't one female and one male, which I consider highly unlikely. Maybe they are two females together, combining both of their full compliment of little ones together. Still, that's a little too many goslings even for two geese. So, what's the answer?
And I definitely do believe one of those two adults is a male and one is a female. I've watched geese enough to know this by the order in which they swim. And yes, those are swans in the background. I have a future post or two to talk about swans, including some excellent pictures. I think a huge family of geese like this deserve their own story though, don't you?
Tell me what you think happened here? How did this family get so big? Any theory is welcome. A rational explanation would be good, and a completely loony one would be really fun. So, what do you think?