Canada Goose Nest

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.

This mound is smaller, and I didn’t notice it until the goose began to incubate.

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.

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1 Comment

  1. May 6, 2011 at 5:55 am

    […] the pair nesting in the parking lot marsh this year has left the nest, and I waded out to assess its success. The egg never pipped, and the gosling in […]


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