Mike Digout has never been a big fan of Canadian geese. But this spring his views changed after meeting one remarkable mother goose caring for a very large family.
In May, Digout noticed the first batch of goslings had hatched. “They’re so cute when they’re little — like little tennis balls with legs,” Digout said. “So I started taking pictures of the goslings while I was waiting for the beavers to come around.”
One night, Digout was sitting near some reeds along the riverbank when he saw a mother goose with an unusually large group of goslings.
“I was stunned that this mom had 16 babies, so I started going back every night looking for the goslings, And every day it seemed like she had a bigger group.”
He counted 25 goslings one day, then 30 the next until he finally spotted the mama goose and her mate with 47 babies. Digout realized that this amazing mama was caring for goslings from many different families. This is known as a gang brood and is common in urban and suburban areas with lots of nests.