yorkie's picture

Canada Geese families

Observed: 14th May 2010 By: yorkieyorkie’s reputation in Birds
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Description:

Two pairs of Canada geese (foreground and background)with 5 goslings each. I see them daily and although both families keep near by each other, they never intermingle. Last year on the same lake, several pairs of white (ex-farm?) geese bred and the young were gathered into a large mixed family "creche" and looked after collectively. Is one behaviour more typical or does it just vary from species to species?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Kluut's picture

Family arrangements

The forming of a creche will be made more likely due to unnaturally high breeding densities although both species (anser anser and branta canadensis), will often form large groupings after eggs hatch. They tend not be creches - which would have few adult minders - but form aggregated flocks with multiple adult birds in attendance.
Goslings tend to imprint very shortly after hatching (in the nest usually), so that being reared in mixed species flocks/groups will tend not to produce birds that form hybrid pairings.

yorkie's picture

Thanks for the feedback.

It is true that last year the breeding density of the white geese was very high - so high (and successful) in fact that these geese were re-located over the winter. They had become a nuisance - aggressive towards the public - because they were used to being fed by humans and tended to race at, and chase, anyone they anticipated would feed them!

Yorkie

Kluut's picture

Relocation

Relocated over winter? It wasn't around the middle of December was it? I could have offered a home if it was ;-)

yorkie's picture

Not Xmas dinner!

Yes, there were some suspicious thoughts at the time - but they were moved as a group to a new location and not to the dinner table!!!

Yorkie