The latest pair of geese to nest at the Contra Costa Times building in Walnut Creek welcomed five goslings into the world on Monday, and about 24 hours later, the youngsters jumped off the roof and into their new world.
The Canada goose built her nest on top of the guard shack at the newspaper building in the Shadelands Business Park around March 23. She was joined on the roof for most of her stay by her mate, who missed few opportunities to hiss at newspaper employees walking by the shack.
The property has several pairs of Canada geese around the building. One pair, called Mother Goose, has made her nest in the same spot for eight years in a row. She hatched her eggs earlier. Although she had laid seven, only two hatched. An examination of the eggs later showed they were infertile.
After hatching all five of her eggs, Guard Shack Goose, as we named her, appeared very protective of her new family, scarcely letting them out from under her protective wings. She eventually let them wander and they explored the hills and valleys of the corrugated roof.
At about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, however, she flew down from the shack and was then joined by her mate. They immediately began calling the goslings, who made a short leap of faith.
The young pair and the goslings were escorted by newspaper employees to an artificial pond in a business complex next door, where they immediately hopped into the water, swam a lap and then began munching on tender grass shoots.
Joan Morris' column runs five days a week in print and online. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org; or P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.