Saskatchewan

Saskatoon mama goose takes care of 47 goslings

Think you've got your hands full these days with the youngsters running around? Spare a thought for one particular mama goose in Saskatoon who has 47 goslings under her care, according to local shutterbug Mike Digout.

Goose family has been growing daily, says local shutterbug

Two geese try to watch over 40 goslings while they swim through the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon on May 31, 2020. (Mike Digout)

Think you've got your hands full these days with the youngsters running around? 

Spare a thought for one particular mama goose in Saskatoon who has 47 goslings under her care, according to local shutterbug Mike Digout.

Canada goose pairs produce six goslings per season on average, but "gang broods," where many more follow a few adults, are common.

"Either it's a gosling daycare while the other adults eat or she has adopted or sometimes stolen goslings from other families," Digout said.

Digout said he has been making daily trips to the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. He said this particular goose family has been growing every day — from 16 on his first sighting to 47 more recently. Digout was surprised when he noticed that the babies would even stay in the evening.

"At night the mom still had 36 of them going to sleep underneath her," he said.

"It's such a sight to see."

Digout says 36 goslings were trying to stay warm under the same mama goose in Saskatoon on May 30, 2020. (Mike Digout)

Digout is not an expert on geese, but he and his wife love nature and animals.

"I just became a little bit addicted to going out every night and looking for goslings and beavers."

Jamie Harder, interpreter for the Meewasin Valley Authority, said she has read about groups of up to 100 goslings. 

"They are just such welcoming parents, they take in whatever goslings are around."

Geese parents in Saskatoon lead more than 40 goslings through the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon on May 30, 2020. (Mike Digout)

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