LETTER: Getting Out Of The Rain…

Photos by Julie Askins

On March 1, 2007, the first pair of Canadian geese arrived in my backyard, on County Road 500. I had never seen a wild goose up close, and it was exciting. It was especially exciting when they started having their babies fairly close to the property. They would then bring them to the backyard to eat the grass, or birdseed the birds had dropped, or rest in the shade.

My backyard happens to be on the San Juan River, so the habitat is just perfect for them. Most of the babies are born around May 1st. Once the goslings are able to fly, usually sometime in late July, they prepare the family to fly to their late summer, fall, and early winter home, somewhere away from the property. They actually have flying lessons, which is so much fun to watch.

As I learned more about wild Canadian Geese, I found that the baby goslings return to the place where they were born. Since 2007 the population has grown, and I continue to enjoy watching and photographing them along with all the other wildlife that passes by my house.

This year on January 22 the first two geese returned, to lay claim to my yard and to look for a good place to build their nest for this year, somewhere away from my yard. There are several families scattered around, but the one pictured is the largest family, there are thirteen goslings.

When the storm arrived on Wednesday, they were in my yard, and I was able to get the picture of the mom protecting her young with her wing. It was a tight fit, but they were safe and warm, with dad on guard duty.

Julie Askins
Pagosa Springs, CO

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