Sunday, June 5, 2011

Canada Goose — Eight Goslings in her Wings

Wascana Park, Regina, SK: While other Canada geese ran away from leashed dogs, and after excited children with pieces of bread, one goose nestled on the shore of Wascana Lake and sheltered eight large goslings under her wings. Her mate stood guard beside her.

Canada goose with goslings under her wings
Canada geese with goslings sheltered under wings. © SB 
It was a cold afternoon, and the goslings may have been seeking a warm place, more than a hiding place.

One gosling that had been away with the mass of teenage birds on the beach, fearlessly scrounging bits to eat, ran back and joined the group before these first two pictures here were taken.

The mother tipped a wing, and the young one clambered under her feathers. (Before that gosling arrived, all young heads had lifted when she hissed at another goose that came too near. See bottom image. I counted; there were at least seven before the last one climbed in.)

These goslings looked silky soft, more like puppies or seals (or penguins!) than awkward, angular, adult Canada geese.

Here's a close-up of the little ones under her wings:

Close-up of Canada goose with eight goslings under her wings
At least eight goslings under this Canada goose's wings. © SB


These birds on the beach reminded me of a Psalm — and I realized, hardly for the first time — how male-centric the language in the Bible is... so I have amended the line below to the proper female spirit:
"She will cover you with her feathers, and under her wings you will find refuge."  Psalm 91: 4, New International Version, with gender-appropriate fix.

Hissing Canada goose, with goslings arching their heads up to watch
Count the goslings! I can see seven, but there might another © SB
Earlier, when an approaching goose had alarmed her, she had stretched out her neck and loudly hissed. The goslings, clearly misunderstanding that she was reacting to signs of approaching danger, all popped up their heads to see what was going on. As soon as she calmed down, they nestled back to sleep. (The two pix above were taken after this and have one more young bird under her wings.)


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