Mother Goose – A tale of survival (and a happy ending)

(Above) Back on April 18, a nesting goose at the Ventura Marsh became completely buried by several inches of heavy, wet snow.  Remaining faithful to her mission, the dedicated bird refused to eat, drink, or even shake off the snow for fear of chilling her eggs.  The effort has paid off.  On May 2, the goose became the proud mother of seven healthy goslings-Photos by Lowell Washburn.. 

by Lowell Washburn

Ventura Heights wildlife enthusiasts have found reason to celebrate.  Following weeks of mixed speculation, the female Canada goose which serves as the Height’s unofficial mascot has been successful at hatching her eggs.

Located near the far west end of Clear Lake, the goose nest was located atop an abandoned muskrat lodge at the Ventura Heights access where easy, car window viewing made the site an instant hit with area wildlife watchers.  But fascination quickly turned to concern as the area was pummeled by record low temperatures and a relentless series of late season, April snowstorms.  Many residents feared the nest could not survive the extreme conditions.

The situation went from bad to worse when on April 18, the nesting goose became completely buried by several inches of heavy, wet snow.  Remaining faithful to her mission, the dedicated bird refused to eat, drink, or even shake off the snow for fear of chilling her eggs.  The effort has paid off.  On May 2, the goose became the proud mother of seven healthy goslings.  After spending their first night at the Ventura Heights hatch site, the female and her mate safely led their boisterous brood of day-old babies to the nearby Ventura Marsh.  The goose family will likely spend the remainder of the spring and summer exploring the vast marshland and adjacent Clear Lake shorelines until the youngsters take wing in July.  You’ve just got to love a happy ending.

Enjoy more wildlife tales online at Washburn’s Outdoor Journal at iawildlife.org/blog

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