About one month after Mother Goose laid seven eggs, they began hatching Wednesday morning. One little guy, or gal, emerged around 8:30 a.m. Another sibling appeared a few hours later, leaving five still waiting to hatch.

Affectionately called Mother Goose, the Canada goose and her mate return to the Contra Costa Times building in the Shadelands Business Park in Walnut Creek each year to nest. Although it's not known whether it's the same goose or one of her offspring, certain goose habits -- from building the nest on March 1 for the past eight years to the number of eggs laid -- give weight to theory that it is.

The first gosling born snuggles down next to Mother Goose on the roof of the Contra Costa Times building.
The first gosling born snuggles down next to Mother Goose on the roof of the Contra Costa Times building.

For the past few years, the Times has set up a camera that allows viewers to watch the nesting process. This year's camera feed has drawn more than 17.500 visitors, topping last year's number by 5,000.

Geese eggs take 28 to 30 days to hatch. Although the goose lays the eggs over a period of days, she doesn't start incubating them until all the eggs have been laid, meaning the eggs hatch within hours of each other rather than days.

The goslings will spend little time in the nest. Within a day of hatching, Mother Goose will fly to the ground and, along with Father Goose, call the brood. In an act that is both exhilarating and terrifying to witness, the goslings launch themselves off the one-story roof to the concrete below.

Although it appears they are heading for certain death, none of the goslings hatched at the Times have been seriously injured. Last year, one gosling was stunned and eventually was cared for at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum before being returned to the family.

After leaving their rooftop home, the goslings will be escorted by mom and dad to a nearby artificial pond, where they will spend several days getting used to the water and goose life. Typically, the geese eventually head toward a larger pond at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek.