I’ve been monitoring a goose nest for the past few weeks for NestWatch. The geese, who I call Lucy and Desi, have set up housekeeping in a flower box on the Chicago Riverwalk. She has 5 eggs which should be hatching any day now.
At first I thought this would be a bad place to nest. This is a noisy, busy location with lots automobile traffic, noise, pollution, and all that comes with being in the business district. However, they are well sheltered as they are low on the riverwalk, near a bridge and don’t seem to mind all the humans in the area.
When I walked by today Lucy was defending her nest from Seagulls. The Seagulls were there because a probably well-meaning person had sprinkled Cheerios in the planter box around her nest! This is a bad idea. In addition to people food not being good for a goose’s diet, the food will attract predators who may also enjoy eating a goose egg. Predators of Canada geese and their eggs include coyotes, raccoons, skunks, bobcats, and foxes, as well as gulls, eagles, crows, ravens, and magpies.
I mentioned this to a few people who said they never thought about the food attracting predators to the nest. For the safety of the birds, don’t feed them at their nest.
More information about Canada Geese at All About Birds.