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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note the observations you have made of the world around you.  Insects, weather, fish, climate, birds and/or flowers.  All are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment. Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located.
Seattle. April 2, 2013.

There's a little sandbank across the northern shallows of the Marina where I count on finding a Great Blue Heron most weeks of the year. The heron goes missing every spring, likely intent on raising this year's crop of heron kids in a rookery somewhere nearby. I'm not sure where.

In their place come Canada Geese, one pair in each of the last couple of years. They seem to find the sandbank a good place to start their own kids.

2011: A pair of Canada Geese set up housekeeping sometime between April 2 and April 6. The eggs hatched on May 3, with seven goslings joining the ranks of the local goose population.

May 3, 2011. Mom, nanny and five of seven goslings.May 3, 2011. Mom, nanny and five of seven goslings.

2012: Nesting time came earlier in 2012. I found a pair on March 19; the female building a nest, her companion proudly defending it from any and all intruders. The incubation time for Canada Geese is 28 days and I asked the group for their best guesses as to hatching dates. As an afterthought, I suggested that "nest failure" might be an option.

My afterthought proved to be a premonition. The nest failed, as did a second one and then a third attempt. By the end, even her companion had abandoned her. She sat alone, the other geese parading their maturing goslings across the little bay in front of her, the Marina's turtles sunning themselves closer and closer to her feet each time I visited. One day there were only turtles on the sandbank.

2013: A pair of Canada Geese has taken up residence on the sandbank again this year. The same pair or a new one? There's no way of knowing, though this nest is in a slightly different location, just a little bit east of the previous ones. A week ago I watched for a long time as the female fluffed herself on a pile of grass she'd gathered around her, watched as she reached over to the tall grass, taking clumps in her beak and pulling them out, pillowing each clump under her body, fluffing herself some more.

March 26, 2013. Nesting Canada Goose.March 26, 2013. The Marina. Nesting Canada Goose.
Yesterday she was still arranging grass, her companion easy this time with the scrim of crows and mergansers and mallards and coots surrounding her. She rose once while I was there, delicately prodding the pile underneath her as if turning things, then settled her breast back down and was still.
April 1, 2013. Nesting Canada Goose. Female at left.April 1, 2013. The Marina. Nesting Canada Goose and companions.
There were no turtles present on the sandbank.

April 2, 2013. A pair of Canada Geese has been nesting at the Marina since March 26.

Parrot Update: Two parrots were present in the Big-leaf Maples by the Forest entry yesterday afternoon.  


So what's going on in your natural neighborhood? Nests? Snow? Butterflies? Questions? Everyone is welcome to share their observations, their questions, and their knowledge. Just give us an idea of where you're located, as close as you're comfortable revealing.

I'll be back after noon PDT, then away until evening.


2013 Canada Goose hatching dates?

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