by Carl Strang
In each of the three springs I have been at Mayslake Forest Preserve, a pair of Canada geese has built a nest in the parking lot marsh. The first of these ended calamitously. The coyotes used the cover of a stormy night to kill the incubating female and eat the eggs. That nest was too vulnerable, built on a mud bar in the middle of the marsh in a season when the water level was low enough for easy wading by the coyotes.
Last year the water was deep, and a high mounded muskrat den made of cattail stalks provided the foundation for a successful Canada goose nest. Ultimately the pair raised two young to fledging.
Now a third nest is under incubation, on a new muskrat den.
The pair is different from last year’s. The male in the 2010 pair was banded, and neither goose has a band this time. Water levels have been fluctuating, but for now, at least, this nest is secure. The coyotes are around, however. Recently they ate a goose in the south part of the preserve. I’ll continue to follow this story.