March is quickly coming to a close. We are seeing birds everyplace building their nests, courting and preparing for their families.
I have been fortunate enough to have a great friend, Wayne Priebe, place me a nesting tub in our lake for our geese. Last year was my first year, and they raised five healthy little ones. This year, they have been here for a while now, preparing to get started on their family. Yesterday, Good Friday, I noticed that the female was in the tub. Very exciting for me, and the grandkids and kids who love to watch their progress. These geese were preceded by hundreds of snow geese passing through to the north. Many days our lake was white with geese.
This brings to mind a story of long ago. My mom was always very active at the Clark County Nursing Home volunteer department. I always supported their events. One year, Larry Shaffer donated a pair of white geese as a fund raiser. You could buy tickets for this as I recall. Well, guess what, I won the geese. We got them home, and ended up having them for several years. In the winter, we had an old corn crib and kept them in there away from the coyotes, and they were pretty aggravating to the cows with new calves also. I also had mallard ducks at the time. The drake was pretty aggressive and right down mean sometimes. We had a barrel for the geese to nest in, and let me tell you, you need not mess with the nest, as you might end up flogged. They became just like guard dogs of our farm also. We always knew when you drove in, as their honking was very loud. They usually parked themselves right by the back door as well. And you know what else came along with the geese. It was great fun back then. However, when they had babies, the drake mallard killed them all. I literally watched this happen over time. Sad. Over the years, one goose was mauled by a mad mama cow, and the other taken by coyotes. The ducks were eventually all butchered.
We had quite a time with our free geese, and lots of memories to go along with them. I would love some now, but no hen house anymore, and don’t want to have the chore, and way too many coyotes in our neighborhood. This spring we did have two Tundra Swans spend a couple days here, and they were beautiful.
I hope your spring is going as planned, with your mind filled with warm spring thoughts and flowers growing in your garden. Enjoy. No fooling. My father was born on April Fool’s day in 1907. Until next time good bird watching.