WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?: Canada goose nesting season in Guelph

This may seem like a silly goose for making its nest in the parking lot of busy Guelph retail plaza, but nesting in parking lots is not all that unusual for Canada Geese.

Just the facts

Canada geese often build nests in flat areas with little or no vegetation, Guelph Humane Society marketing and communications manager Natalie Thomas said in an email to the Mercury Tribune.

“They do this so that they have a view of potential predators all around them,” Thomas explained.

This goose has already vacated its nest site near the Swiss Chalet and Metro grocery store on Edinburgh and Stone roads, the eggs having hatched in mid-May.

“Geese incubate their eggs for about 25 days,” Thomas said. “Once the eggs hatch, the parents and goslings leave the nest and seek out a body of water.”

They may walk three or four kilometres from the nest to find water, Thomas said.

While the goose was camped out in the parking lot, someone attempted to make the bird a little more comfortable, placing a chair over the nest to provide shade, putting out water, and offering some bird seed.

Thomas said the humane society’s client services team had calls about the nest, and though the team doesn’t know who provided the feed and water, their understanding is that pylons were placed to alert people to the presence of the nest.

The team advised callers that the humane society is unable to intervene with nesting geese.

“It’s important to remember that geese are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Convention Act, so it is illegal to harass them or harm their nest,” said Thomas. “It also limits what GHS animal services officers can do when it comes to (a) nest on private property.”

The organization recommends people avoid conflict with nesting geese.

“Really, it comes down to patience and tolerance,” GHS interim executive director Lisa Veit said in an email. “If they nest near a busy building entrance, use an alternate entrance. Put up a sign telling people to avoid the entrance. We can change our habits for just a few weeks, and in less than a month, the nest will be abandoned and they’ll move on with their young.”

Wondering what’s going on somewhere in your community? Email [email protected].

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