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Mother Goose saga ends. Come take a look at what happened

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 at 9:10 am in Mother Goose, Mother Nature.

Mother Goose and goslings by Dan Rosenstrauch, Times staff photographer
Mother Goose1

The Mother Goose saga comes to a close.

Whew! I have to say it was a pretty wild day, yesterday. Hundreds of viewers from all over the country and beyond (Pennsylvania, Arizona, Canada, etc.) watched the eggs hatch, baby goslings running all around the rooftop driving Mom Goose crazy and the viewers nuts.

The Contra Costa Times newsroom, advertising and production departments and beyond couldn’t contain themselves as everyone focused on their computer screens to watch the Goose Cam, or took frequent trips to the windows overlooking the little rooftop where Mama Goose had her nest.

The advertising department purchased little heart-shaped pink and blue balloons (“It’s a boy!” “It’s a girl!) and taped them around the viewing windows. A platter of chocolate covered eggs and PEEPS was sitting on a chair by the windows … passing out candy to celebrate the hatchings instead of cigars.

Mother Goose & new chick by Susan Tripp Pollard, Times staff photographer

Seven goslings finally hatched. Two of the eggs didn’t hatch. They are probably infertile. That’s common. This particular mama goose has raised 6 or 7 chicks every year for the last 4 years. That’s about right for her. I’ll scrounge a ladder later today and climb up and check the last two eggs. I’ll let you know what I find out.

SCARY VIDEO WARNING: The following video is kind of scary, so be aware, but they all survived as they all have for the last four years. (Canada geese often nest on cliffs and the babies have to jump there, too.)

Here’s a link to the video so you can see them jumping off the roof:

And here’s a link to a beautiful little slide show by our photographers that shows you the whole hatching story, the jump off the rooftop, and the walk to the grassy field next door:

** I got an e-mail from one of our feature copy editors, Merilyn Cooper, at 5:30 p.m. last night:

Mom, 7 kids, plus Dad, swimming across nearest lake behind the building next door. They came out at the rocks (each baby looks the size of a rock, but with head and feet) then she led them back in. One seems to be a Daddy’s boy, tugboating next to Pop as they swam across.
Merilyn Cooper

This morning about 7:30 p.m., I went for a walk over to the Verizon building complex next to the Contra Costa Times to look for the little lake and our geese. It’s actually a little waterway with larger pond-like areas that winds its way around and through the buildings. Very nice.

Sure enough, there they were. Mother Goose was sitting on the bank of the waterway, her wings spread to cover all her chicks and keep them warm. At 7:30 a.m. it was still a little nippy. Standing guard and on full alert right next to them was Dad Goose.

In about an hour, one of our photographers will be free and we’ll go over and get some shots of the little family swimming around. We’ll post them someplace on out Web site at Look for them.

And they all lived happily ever after. At least that’s what it says here in my notes. /Gary

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9 Responses to “Mother Goose saga ends. Come take a look at what happened”

  1. aaron baca Says:

    The video of the ducklings trying to fly was incredible disturbing to me. I don’t get why you are showing a video of the ducks taking a huge leap and hitting hard onto some concrete. The sound of them hitting the ground is awful. That is not a beautiful clip of some birds taking flight. I’m sorry, but that video needs a warning.

  2. Linnea Says:

    This morning a pair of geese were picking around our nesting site — she was on the roof and he was on the upper roof looking down. Do you think they are checking out the neighborhood for a spring residence? Do they still have time to lay eggs and hatch for this season?

  3. Heidi Says:

    I prefer the heart warming photo essay, good lord that is hard to watch! And I thought beavers were difficult…thanks for focusing human hearts on feathered friends, Gary.

  4. Mo from Canada Says:

    I was a nervous wreck watching those precious babies jump off the building! I’m so glad they’re all ok. The slide show is just beautiful…I can’t wait to show it to my daughter when she gets home from school today.

    Thank you!

  5. Gary Bogue Says:

    I just got back this minute from checking on the goose family. They are all up grazing on the lawn area next to the pond. ALL 7 goslings made it through the night. Mom is herding them along and when I stopped to watch, Dad goose immediately got between them and me, while mom herded them back into the water. Doesn’t get any better than that. They’re launched.

  6. Jeanne Says:

    I agree, the video is really disturbing, and I wish I hadn’t watched it. It pretty well killed off the great feelings yesterday.

    But this slide show is so wonderful!! Thank you so much for that Gary, and thank to all your photographers. Can’t wait to see the pics of them in the pond!!

  7. pearl from petaluma Says:

    It is hard to see the babies jumping, but as Gary pointed out earlier in the blog, this is a totally natural process and exactly what they do in the wild — they nest on cliffs and then have to jump down. And all’s well that ends well…

  8. Diane - Pacheco Says:

    Thank goodness the 7th gosling made it. I had nightmares about that little one all night. But, what a show. Have been glued to my computer from home for the last 2 weeks. Shared it with my daughter & friends. What a privilege to watch nature up close and personal. Thanks to all (camera people, photographers, etc. – and to Gary Bogue – the most wonderful “Nature Boy” of all.) I look forward to next year – she must have laid her eggs on my birthday. What a gift.

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