Friday, April 26, 2013

Nesting Geese on Hope Lake Island

You may have seen this new Eagle Scout bridge that takes hikers and fishermen out to a tiny island in Hope Lake off of Nells Rock Road.  We've been getting reports of a pair of nesting geese who are not particularly happy with the intrusion, and geese can be aggressive and a danger to small children, so we've posted a caution sign on the bridge asking people not to approach the geese.

The nest is on the far tip of the island, and these geese are relatively tame, so there is no need to close off the entire island to protect the nest.  Daddy is doing a pretty good job of letting people know they need to back off. I took these photos with a telephoto lens, so I'm not as close as it appears. Eventually a got within 15 feet of the nest, talking softly, kneeling down, and facing away from the nest to be less threatening, and the pair didn't seem very upset. After I stood up the Daddy gave a bit of hiss, though.

The male goose defends the mother goose on the nest (blending in on the right)

The nest doesn't really consist of much, just a few twigs and the mother goose sitting on her eggs. When I was nearby, the mother was perfect still while the father strutted about to attract my attention.

Mother goose on her nest.

Leg band

The male was banded, and I was able to read off the number back at the computer by zooming in on the photos.  I found a website for reporting the number and filed a report. After I clicked "submit" I got the following message:

The goose was banded at Osborndale Park in 2007, so I've nicknamed him Ozzy (does that make mommy "Sharon"?)   He's at least seven years old. 


  1. I talked to one fisherman on Open Day who was fishing between the bridge and the nest. He reported one brave guy skirted the nest to fish on the tip of the island. Reportedly the male goose had a "hissy-fit" but never attacked the fisherman. Hopefully hatching will occur soon.

  2. I encountered these eggs too, when hiking a few weeks ago with my kids. We kept clear of the nest.