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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group, a place where everyone is welcome to note the observations you have made of the natural world around you. Insects, weather, fish, climate, birds and/or plants: all are worthy additions to the bucket. Ask questions if you have them and someone here may well have an answer. All we ask is that you let us know where you're located, as close as you're comfortable revealing.
Seattle. May 2, 2013.

It took a while before the Canada Goose pair down at the Marina brought their goslings out for viewing, but indeed, the nest was successful this year.

I searched the shoreline unsuccessfully on April 24, and again on April 26 and 27, walked from the parking lot at the end of our block south all the way down to the tip of the Marina bay and back, and saw only a pair of barren geese swimming together between the boats.

Saturday I stopped by again and found a creche of ten goslings protected by four adults. Six of the ten are here, with an adult who eyed me in a very wary manner. I backed off.

Canada Goose goslings and protector. April 27, 2013.Seattle. April 27, 2013. The Marina. Canada Goose goslings and protector.
Everything I've read suggests that the average size of a Canada Goose family is five. That and the presence of four adults made me think that there were two mingled clutches present here, a creche of kids hatched around the same time. This is not unusual; by mid-summer every year I see individual groups of similarly developed goslings, fresh to almost adult sized, parading along the shallows with their adult attendants in full secret service mode. By late summer the creches have tangled together, an all age show.

April 29 was bird count day, and the Marina was the usual final stop. Ten goslings were still present, a little bigger but still under the attentive eyes of their adult protectors. There were six adults watching this time, and four of them arched their necks up and down at me, hissing. I still held the notion that these ten were two clutches, but for this:

Shelter. April 29, 2013.Seattle. The Marina. April 29, 2013. Shelter.
A fifth adult joined in with its bobbing and hissing companions and the last adult hunkered down to rest, all ten goslings crowding themselves under her wings and her soft parts. She accommodated them, raising her wings and pulling them in the best she could. Only one gosling was left fully exposed.

I wonder if a goose would accept the responsibility of sheltering goslings not her own, or if the protocol of a creche demands that she acquiesce to the needs of her community.

Or if nine of the goslings were hers, and the last one a stranger.

April 29, 2013. A creche of ten goslings is present at the Marina. Six adults provide protection.


Your turn to report what you've been seeing in your natural neighborhood. Everyone is welcome to toss their observations into the Bucket.

As usual, I'll be in around noon PDT and then back around dinnertime. Retirement is only six months away.

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