A most peculiar place to nest

A Canada goose sits atop a nest of eggs in the Hooley House parking lot in Westlake. Photo by Denny Wendell

If you have driven around the community this spring, you may have noticed that Canada geese are nesting in the most peculiar places. Two examples of this are nests located by the entrance of the water treatment plant on Clague Road (right next to the sidewalk!) and near Hooley House on Sperry Road (in a landscaping island, right in the parking lot!)

Why do the geese select such odd places to built their nests? The answer is because they have protection. According to Amy LeMonds, wildlife specialist at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, the guardians of these nests are the geese’s mates, the ganders. The females feel safe because their mates are always nearby to protect them, as this photographer found out while photographing the nest on Clague Road. As I was approaching the nest,  I kept inching closer to get the best shot. Suddenly, I heard a honk.

As I turned around the gander came charging at me, standing tall, with six-foot-wide wings extended, taking aim at me. Luckily, I was fleet of foot and scurried away before I got pecked. But lesson learned – don’t mess with a gander.

LeMonds commented on the egg laying process for a goose. She will lay 8-10 eggs over the course of a few weeks but won’t start the 30-day incubation period until she’s laid all her eggs. Then she will sit on the eggs so that they can all hatch at the same time.

Pretty soon we’ll be stopped in traffic as the moms take their kids out for a walk across roads in our community.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:07 AM, 04.19.2016