Mama goose collects 47 babies and protects them like they’re her own
It isn’t unusual for Mike Digout to see Canadian geese during his walks along the Saskatchewan riverbank in Saskatoon, Canada.
The abundance of wildlife is the very reason he takes his camera with him on his walks.
But one evening, Digout saw a very peculiar bunch of geese that made him want to whip out his camera.
He found a mother goose with not just a few babies, but 47 in total.
It all began at the start of nesting season.
“I was out every night walking on the riverbank looking for beavers and, of course, there was a lot of geese activity as they were coming from the south and looking for a place to nest,” Digout told The Dodo.
“It got to be quite entertaining to watch the geese fighting over places to nest and protecting their nests.”
The goslings or “little tennis balls with legs” started hatching in May.
Digout figured he would photograph these little fuzzy cuties while waiting for the beavers to come out.
Digout ended up being struck by a mother goose who had an extremely large group of goslings that all crawled under her feathers where they left for the night.
“I was stunned that this mom had 16 babies, so I started going back every night looking for this mom and her goslings,” Digout said. “And every day it seemed like she had a bigger group.”
And she did. One day she was up to 25 and the next day she had 30.
The mother goose ended up with a total of 47 goslings.
Thankfully, she had her mate to help her out.
But these kids weren’t all their own. The mother goose was taking care of goslings from other goose families.
It’s called a gang brood and is apparently common in urban and suburban areas.
It basically involves geese parents taking turns babysitting each other’s children so their adults can get a few nights off.
And this momma goose was a pro at mass babysitting.
She had this gang brood thing down pat.
“It was incredible how calm she was with so many goslings around,” Digout said. “She seems like such a patient mom.”
Digout watched as the goslings quickly grew and were no longer able to fit under mom anymore.
After that, the gang brood began to split up again.
“I visited them today and video-taped the flock swimming by.
Still around 60 of this year’s goslings in the gaggle. Lots of adults have rejoined the group,” he wrote on Facebook.
“It is getting harder to tell the oldest goslings from the adult geese. I can’t believe they were tiny little yellow fluff balls just six weeks ago. It has been incredible to watch them grow.”
They make up about three different families. But the original goose mom that Digout saw still has an incredibly large family herself.
She and her mate still have 25 babies that they take care of.
Digout expects that they’ll all be together when it’s time for them to fly south.
Digout has quite the relationship with the animals he photographs.
It seems like they’re actually posing for him.
You can check out his photos on his Facebook page here.
Learn more about Digout’s observation of the geese gang in the video below.
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Source : https://animalchannel.co/