NEWS

Goose 'gang brood' spotted at Burnaby Lake Park

05/26/2015 10:50 EDT | Updated 05/26/2016 05:59 EDT
It's becoming a common sight to see Canada geese with a handful of goslings in tow, wandering Burnaby Lake Park — but larger groups of more than 30 have recently been spotted.

They're known to birders as gang broods and it's an annual phenomenon.

"The young goslings are born usually four to six eggs per nest and they're up and out of the nest right away. Looked after by parents but feeding independently, so they are wandering around a lot and mix up with other groups of goslings and parents," said George Clulow, president of the B.C. Field Ornithologists.

"It seems that often it falls to one or two of the parent geese to tow this huge swarm of goslings and just leads them around. It's the goose equivalent of universal daycare."

Cluow says gang broods appear frequently in urban settings and are formed to protect the flightless goslings from predators such as coyotes, bobcats or off-leash dogs. 

"The parents, just like we do, put the kids in a group and keep their eye on them."

Cluow recommends visiting places such as Stanley Park, Deer Lake Park and Burnaby Lake to witness the gang broods first hand, but offers one piece of advice.

"Just enjoy it from a distance and if you get too close, the parents will tell you. They'll hiss and they'll even whack you with their wings."

To hear the full interview with George Clulow, listen to the audio labelled Gang brood,

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