Canada Goose Gosling, © Photo by Steve Kaye

Feathers Make the Goose | June 2016

Feathers Make the Goose

Canada Goose Gosling, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in Feathers Make the Goose

Canada Goose Gosling

Everyone knows that feathers make the goose.

As a goose matures, it tries on different outfits (feathers, actually).

This begins with fluffy yellow down, as shown in the above photo.

But no goose wants to spend its life looking like a bathtub toy. So they change into something less vivid, as shown below.

Notice two changes: 1) The hint of black feathers on its face, and 2) The longer bill.

Canada Goose, Gosling, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in Feathers Make the Goose

Canada Goose, Gosling

Next the goose experiments with a “teenage” outfit.

Teenagers always look like they are between where they were and where they’re going.

Now adult feathers replace the downy plumage that covered the young gosling.

Right now, this bird’s appearance wouldn’t impress anyone except its parents, who are undoubtedly proud of its progress.

Canada Goose, Juvenile, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in Feathers Make the Goose

Canada Goose, Juvenile

Finally, we have the finished goose, ready to begin a productive career in a park or golf course.

If you know about an opening, please send a Honk (like a tweet, but louder and more emphatic).

Canada Goose, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in Feathers Make the Goose

Canada Goose

About the Canada Goose

A female goose will lay an egg every day (or two) until she fills the nest (usually 4 to 7, sometimes 2 to 11). Then she sits on the eggs. This way all the eggs hatch at the same time.

The new ones are ready to walk, eat, and swim within hours after hatching. Then the adults lead them to find food. And thus begins another generation.

Canada Goose, Female and Goslings, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in Feathers Make the Goose

Canada Goose, Female and Goslings

Much success,

Steve Kaye

More Goose Stories at:

Meet Father Goose

The Truth about Bird Photography and a Goose Update

Help Birds Tip

1) Never give people food (such as bread, cookies, or crackers) to geese or ducks.

Why: People food lacks essential nutrients that these birds need. So they fill up on junk that interferes with eating food that nourishes them. In the worst cases they can suffer dietary deficiencies. The human equivalent of this would be eating only donuts.

2) Avoid lawn chemicals

Why: Geese eat mainly plants, which includes grass, “weeds,” and such. When they eat plants treated with pesticides, they become sick.

Here’s an article that tells more about why these chemicals are also bad for people: See Pest Control Chemicals

Did You Know?

The most effective way to help birds is to buy land.

Here are three organizations that excel at doing this.

1) American Bird Conservancy

2) The Nature Conservancy

3) The Trust for Public Land

Please visit their web sites to learn about the work they do.

Here’s an excellent book: The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation

You can help – Please share this blog with others.
Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bird at a time.

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  • Jo-ann Coller
    Posted at 11:03h, 17 June

    Interesting, love your blogs

  • Penny Schafer
    Posted at 11:41h, 17 June

    I know they have to grow up but I still love the babies best!

  • Rose Webster
    Posted at 13:48h, 17 June

    They grow incredibly fast and it’s amazing how bold (and kinda mean) the Canada goose can be – very unCanadian.

    So glad you pointed out that we really shouldn’t be feeding them “people” food (esp. white bread and fries),

    Other reasons bread is bad: in water, it encourages the growth of harmful levels of algae and bacteria and when it decomposes, it can attract disease-carrying rats (and rat urine transmits leptospirosis, also known as Weil’s disease – deadly for humans too). And sadly, rotting bread is a growth medium for the aspergillus mould which can kill ducks or geese.

    If people are going to feed ducks or geese, natural treats like oats, corn, or defrosted frozen peas would be the best choices.

  • Susie Vanderlip
    Posted at 20:56h, 17 June

    Lovely photos, Steve!

  • Susan Bulger
    Posted at 21:14h, 17 June

    As always you have combined beauty, wisdom and humor. There is nothing better.

  • Gail Pearce
    Posted at 21:33h, 17 June

    As always: delightful, informative , fun! TY G. Pearce

  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 08:08h, 18 June

    Your goose write-up is a quack-up. Bob

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