A Fuzzy Flotilla

Birds are wonderful parents.  During my explorations in the wilds I’ve seen examples of this over and over again.

Recently I have run across two different families of Canadian Geese at a nearby park, both undertaking the arduous task of raising a family.   They have allowed me to share their space to the point of having to zoom all the way out to photograph them as the babies pass sometimes within inches of me.   Mom and Dad just don’t seem to mind at all.

This is a typical procession with a parent on each end of a perfectly straight line.  The adult in front guides the way and the one in the rear makes sure everyone gets there safely.  What a smart strategy.  These chicks are about three days old in this photo.


A fuzzy feathered flotilla…


Goose chicks constantly watch their parents to learn from them.  Here a chick from the slightly older brood is learning from an expert how and where to find food.


Mom pulls seaweed up from the bottom of the lake.   Sure looks tasty!   Some of the chicks are already trying their hands at it as they dunk their heads under, leaving only their fuzzy bottoms above water.  But the fellow in front isn’t ready to work for a meal yet and takes the easy way out.


Once out of water the chicks wattle all around.  This one is curious about me.  “Commin through!”


But then he stops and decides to give me a good look-over.


Once joined by a sibling, he wattles off to go and find mom.   I find it interesting that in many cases when chicks walk around together, they do so in perfect step with one another.  This photo is an example of just that.    I have dozens of photos of chicks together where this is the case.


Time to gather the kids.  Mom corrals her chicks back into a little group again for another feeding lesson, this time on land.


See son, we can eat grass too…


And you don’t want to eat Maple tree seeds…


A tender moment between parent and baby…


With a lesson learned, these two are able to feed on their own.


One last cute pose for good measure…