Over the last few days I took many pictures of Canada goose (Branta canadensis) goslings. I posted the “limping” couple’s (a nest I was watching) three goslings yesterday. Goslings grow so rapidly that unless I share a couple more baby pictures now they will be out of the yellow fuzzy stage. Plus, the little goslings are so cute.
Canada geese usually brood between four and eight eggs. The one goose leading ten goslings most likely is an example of a crèche - or nursery group. Where there are many goslings in close proximity, the chicks get mixed up and form flocks watched by all the adults. They appear to take turns caring for the goslings. The crèche provides protection for the entire group and it is also a way for the babies to learn to get along in a flock.
When a family group is moving over the water, the gander (male) is in the lead with the female bringing up the rear and the goslings in the middle. While feeding, the babies move in and around the parents – and often there is an independent little gosling that wants to swim off by itself.
These goslings were photographed at Baum Lake and Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Shasta and Modoc Counties, CA).