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.

Since work from home started, Digout has been taking walks along the Saskatchewan riverbank near his home in Saskatoon and bringing along his camera to capture the wildlife that lives there. That’s where he first met the geese.

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.

One by one, the babies started crawling under her feathers to go to sleep for the night, until he counted 16 fluffy bodies crowded under their mom’s protective wings.

“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.