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What happens if one goose dies when the goslings are still young?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
We have a pond behind our apartment that the same geese frequent in their wanderings(one of them has seven goslings which are almost adults now!). They are wild Canadian geese.

There is another family with much younger goslings(3 of them) who frequent our pond and stop by our apartment daily. Yesterday I went out to toss them a piece of old bread and noticed the two families near eachother but only 3 adults. I thought the fourth adult was down closer to the pond away from his family of seven babes, but quickly realized it was the family with three babies that was missing an adult when one of the other adults bit one of the three babies! Naturally I stopped with the bread (please do not preach to me about feeding the geese) so they would seperate again and stop the baby from being bitten/pecked.

Today I saw the lone adult with its three babies so I believe it lost its mate. I think it is the male still alive based on the neck. What are the chances the babies to survive? They seem to be doing well. If it is the male, do males normally take over caring for the babes? Poor goose barely had time to mourn. I feel awful for the family and that it lost its mate. A part of me also thinks the survivor is female because now two other lone geese seem to be trying to be near her but she / he chases them away, I thought maybe they would try to become her new mate. How does it work when one adult is left with the goslings?
Edited by achapra - 6/20/16 at 5:47pm
post #2 of 3

Both the gander and goose (or either parent if one dies/is killed) take care of the goslings.  Parenting instinct is very strong in almost all geese.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thank you. That is so good to know. I've also observed that the other geese keep their distance for the most part so it's nice to know there isn't a real threat of other geese injuring them. We've lived here for 8 years and can recognize familiar geese, I have fallen in LOVE with geese and it breaks my heart that one of them are missing. One pair used to brood near our pond thirty feet away and the male would frequently come lay by us near our balcony outside while watching the nest. They are amazing creatures.
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